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18 February 201920:15

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s response to a media question about Russia’s assessment of the outcome of the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East

341-18-02-2019

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Question: Will you comment on the outcome of the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East held in Warsaw on February 13-14?

Maria Zakharova: We publicly expressed our attitude to this event many times back when it was at the preparation stage. In particular, we noted that the decisions on the format and agenda of this conference were taken hastily and secretively, without serious consultations with the UN and the main regional and non-regional players. We pointed out that this approach contradicted the organisers’ declared goal of developing a collective strategy in the Middle East. We said openly that we view this as yet another attempt to force unilateral solutions designed to promote the US geopolitical interests on the international community.

The outcome of this event has fully confirmed that this is so. It is clear that the conference was not intended for a serious discussion of Middle Eastern problems. The main achievement of this event is the establishment of several international working groups that will discuss solutions to a number of global threats and challenges, such as terrorism, non-proliferation, humanitarian issues and refugees. It is nothing other than an attempt to create a parallel format that will produce unilateral solutions. What is the special value of these groups if the majority of their competencies have long been a matter of serious discussion at the UN and its specialised bodies?

This looks like a US attempt to initiate and lead a long-term process so as to influence the Middle East policies of the countries which attended the Warsaw conference, changing them to benefit the United States. In this context, it is indicative that the final document adopted at this conference is not a collective paper but one that has been worded as a statement of the two co-chairs, the United States and Poland. Of course, a decision that is adopted without due regard for the opinions of the other invited countries, let alone many other influential states, including regional ones, that refused to attend this conference, is not acceptable as a comprehensive global strategy for peace and security in the Middle East.

Lastly, it is obvious that this conference is spearheaded against Iran, as can be seen from the politicised statement made by Vice-President Mike Pence. As expected, the main goal of the Warsaw conference was to consolidate the participating countries’ support for Washington’s destructive agenda focused on an all-round counteraction against Tehran, which was presented as the main driver of instability in the region.

We regret to say that the Warsaw conference was the latest evidence of the US policy of creating new dividing lines in the Middle East, which is an area of numerous conflicts and contradictions as it is. But this is the signature style of Washington, which has long opted for enforcing unilateral formulas on other countries, such as the notorious “deal of the century” [to end the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict]. Another example of this policy is the establishment of interest-based coalitions, such as the anti-Iranian “Arab NATO.” These actions are diverting the international community from the path towards a lasting stability and are hampering the settlement of existing conflicts in the region.

We believe that it is necessary to coordinate the international community’s approach to the settlement of crises in the Middle East and North Africa. Any decisions must be truly collective and coordinated under the UN auspices and they should comply with the norms and principles of international law, such as respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.

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