3 December 201417:19

Statement by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following a meeting of the Arab League’s Russian-Arab forum, Khartoum, 3 December 2014

2774-03-12-2014

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I would like to say a few words about the outcome of the meeting of the Arab League's Russian-Arab forum. We have discussed at length various issues, primarily those affecting the Middle East and North Africa.

It is gratifying to know that our friends from the Arab League share our approach of resolving all problems exclusively through peaceful means and inclusive political dialogue based on respect for the principles of the UN Charter.

We also have a shared vision on the need to create proper conditions in the region, so that all the peoples living there can develop their own countries based on their traditions and historical experiences, effectively address socioeconomic challenges and ensure real equality for all citizens regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

We have examined in detail the situation in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and other "hot spots" in the region from this perspective. We focused particularly on the need to break the deadlock in efforts to achieve a Palestinian-Israeli settlement. The fact that this problem has remained unresolved for decades has become a major destabilising factor. We believe that the international community should focus even more attention on this issue so that the Palestinian people can realise their national aspirations and live in their own state in peace and security with all their neighbours, including Israel.

We share the position that all issues involved in defining the final status of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, must be resolved on the basis of existing resolutions, especially resolutions by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative.

We have also looked at what the next three years entail under the Action Plan signed by Russia and the Arab League in 2013. We agreed to continue its implementation and hold the next ministerial meeting of our forum in Moscow in 2015.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi and all my colleagues who came to this meeting in Khartoum. Special thanks go to our Sudanese hosts for their hospitality and their work to prepare for this meeting. 

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