Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation on Stabilisation Efforts in the Middle East and North Africa, Bishkek, November 27, 2019


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The Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, concerned about the persisting tension in the Middle East and North Africa, which continues to threaten the security of the CSTO member states, including through the proliferation of terrorism and radical ideologies, call for an exclusively peaceful settlement of any conflicts through dialogue based on the principles and norms of international law and with the guiding role of the United Nations Organisation.

The Ministers reaffirm support for the creation of an independent, viable and fully sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers urge all the parties involved to avoid actions that could prevent a two-state solution. The Ministers point out the need for an early resumption of talks between the Palestinians and Israelis with the aim of achieving a comprehensive, fair and lasting settlement based on the current legal framework, including the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Ministers express their support for the international efforts, in particular those undertaken within the Astana format, towards reaching stability and security in Syria based on respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Ministers point out the need to continue the fight against terrorism in Syria and to take measures to prevent its financing so as to be able to eliminate ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and all the other terrorist organisations that have been declared as such by the UN Security Council.

The Ministers welcome the launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee as a big step forward in a political process, which must be led and waged by the Syrians themselves with UN assistance, and which must also promote a broad-based intra-Syrian dialogue on national reconciliation between the representatives of all the ethnic and religious groups of Syrian society.

The Ministers express concern over the remaining hotbeds of tension in Syria and continue to closely monitor the developments there.  The Ministers point out that the achievement of lasting stability in the Syrian Arab Republic, including in the northeast of the country, is only possible on the basis of respect and the full restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country as well as the safety of the civilian population comprising different ethnic and religious communities.

Noting the importance of humanitarian aid provided by the Russian Federation and the humanitarian mission of the Republic of Armenia in Syria, the Ministers call on the international community to redouble efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the civilian population and assistance in the post-conflict rehabilitation of the country, including by helping rebuild social and economic facilities, water and electricity supply facilities, schools and hospitals. The Ministers point out the importance of facilitating the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of permanent residence.

The Ministers express their commitment to the principles of international law and UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 497 regarding the Syrian Golan Heights.

The Ministers reiterate their firm commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, as well as to the principle of non-interference in its internal affairs. The Ministers point out that there is no alternative to a political settlement of the internal Libyan conflict through dialogue between and led by the Libyans themselves. The Ministers express their support for the mediation efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salamé, who has been mandated by the UN Security Council to facilitate national reconciliation with a view to consolidating united state institutions capable of effectively addressing their goals, including the fight against terrorism and extremist ideologies.

The Ministers welcome the Stockholm Agreement on normalisation in Yemen, signed in Sweden in December 2018, and call for its comprehensive and full implementation as the first and vital step towards the resumption of the process of political settlement aimed at bringing about a lasting peace. The Ministers support the relevant efforts by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths.

The Ministers reaffirm their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. They note the importance of preventing any interference in its internal affairs. The Ministers call on the international community to provide all-round assistance to Iraq in its efforts against what remains of ISIS and the other terrorist groups until they are completely eliminated. The Ministers express high appreciation for the efforts made by the Iraqi Government to maintain the unity of the Iraqi people and to bring about national reconciliation. They support the efforts of the Iraqi Government to rebuild the country’s regions liberated from terrorist groups.

The Ministers express support for the efforts made by the transitional government of Sudan towards peace, security, stability, national accord, comprehensive democratic change, fair socio-economic development and better government institutions.

The Ministers are concerned about the escalation in the Persian Gulf area, which could lead to a large-scale armed conflict with extremely negative consequences for all the countries involved as well as regional and international security.

The Ministers express regret about the unilateral decision by the United States to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and they call for the further consistent implementation of the plan, based on a commitment to obligations by all the parties involved, and respect for the carefully coordinated balance of interests set out in the comprehensive agreements. The Ministers support the efforts towards the de-escalation of the JCPOA crisis and express their firm resolve to provide effective assistance as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

The Ministers urge all the sides to show restraint and to take measures towards reducing tension and rebuilding confidence. They note the considerable positive potential of Russia’s Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region.

The Ministers point out the importance of launching dialogue between all the states of the Middle East and North Africa based on the principles of neighbourliness, non-use of force, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.