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Abdullah bin Zayed leads UAE delegation at Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum

posted on 27/02/2016: 1967 views

MOSCOW: The third Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum began Friday in Moscow at the level of foreign ministers.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and chair of the current session Council of the Arab League, yesterday led the UAE delegation to forum which was attended by Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby.

In his speech before the forum, Sheikh Abdullah thanked Russia and its foreign minister for hosting the forum and hailed preparations for the gathering.

He stressed that there is mutual interest in strengthening relations between Arabs and Russia, at the collective as well as bilateral levels.

Later, in a joint press conference with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, Sheikh Abdullah thanked Russia and Mr. Lavrov for the warm welcome, hospitality and showing interest in promoting Arab-Russian relations.

"The presence of this large number of my colleague foreign ministers at this meeting shows that the Arab League takes great interest in developing these relations."

He stressed that the forum provides an opportunity and a favourable environment for searching developing and taking these relations to advanced stages not only in the political, security and military spheres, but also in the economic, social, sports and cultural ones.

"This forum is an important sign for our peoples about the extent of desire of governments of Arab countries and Russia to make these relations a top priority. Although we do not always agree with Russia on all issues, we and Moscow have a common interest in a Middle East where peace, security and stability prevail."

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed hailed Russia's support for efforts to end the suffering of the Palestinian people, establish Palestinian statehood and push the Arab Peace Initiative.

He also hailed Russia and the United States for making efforts to put an end to the conflict and the tragic situation in Syria. He noted that "the cessation of hostilities is a step in the right direction towards ending this tragic situation."

"No doubt, all of our states are suffering from the danger of terrorism and we all have the important responsibility of defusing and countering terrorism and all its roots," he added.

Sheikh Abdullah said: "As my colleague the Russian foreign minister noted, there was a big opportunity today to examine a large number of Arab issues in Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Iraq where the situation in Syria is reflected in the difficult situation in Arab countries like Jordan and Lebanon."

"In today's meeting, Arab countries made sure to express their concern over the fact that Iran continues to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states through supporting terrorist organisations, spreading extremism and disrespecting the sovereignty of other states," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said.

Concluding his statement at the press conference, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said: "Today, we had a precious opportunity to discuss venues of cooperation with a focus on scientific and cultural aspects. We agreed on a proposal to discuss the possibility of establishing an Arab-Russian cultural and scientific centre in Moscow. We believe that such centre will promote and enhance existing relations between Arab states and Russia."

From the UAE, Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Dhaheri; Ambassador to Russia, Omar Saif Ghobash; and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for Political Affairs, Ahmed Abdul Rehman Al Jarman, attended the forum. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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