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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 12:11

Arab-Russian forum begins in Sudan

Khart1sKHARTOUM, Sudan, December 03, 2014 (Russia Herald) -- The 2nd Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum started Wednesday in Sudan's capital Khartoum with the participation of Russian and Arab foreign ministers and the secretary general of the Arab League.


Sudan's First Vice-President Bakry Hassan Salih addressed the opening ceremony, reiterating Russia's ability to support the efforts of peace and stability in the Arab region, Xinhua reported.

Salih appreciated Russia's support to Arab issues, particularly the Arab-Israeli dispute, together with the right of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state.


He urged Russia to support the efforts of the Arab countries to eliminate terrorism, saying: "We seek to combat terrorism and at the same time condemn any attempt to link terrorism with a religion, ethnicity or a particular group."


"It should be differentiated between terrorism and the peoples' right to confront occupation," he said.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on his part, reiterated his country's support for the current Arab issues, particularly combating terrorism and reduction of security tensions to make the Middle East region free of mass destruction weapons.


"We stand with our Arab friends to confront terrorism according to the international law. We are also committed to work together to stop the armed conflicts in the Arab region," said Lavrov.


Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby urged Russia to support the Arab stance seeking to resolve the conflict in Syria, work with the Arab group to reach a ceasefire in Syria and launch a political process there.


Lavrov said: "Our method in Syria has not changed. We still urge the two sides to search for a peaceful solution. We support the Arab initiative aiming at finding a ceasefire in Syria and beginning a comprehensive political process. We renew our call for launching a national dialogue including the Syrian government and the opposition groups."


He reiterated his country's solidarity with Iraq which he said was facing threats from extremists.


The Russian foreign minister reiterated the importance of finding a solution for the conflict in Libya, saying "we support the efforts of the Arab countries to resolve the conflict in Libya".


"We hope the conference of Libya's neighbouring countries, scheduled to begin in Khartoum Thursday, would manage to find a settlement for the situations in Libya," he said.


Lavrov, meanwhile, expressed concern over the failure to resolve the Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli dispute, saying "we express our concern over the failure to resolve Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli dispute".


"The negotiations must be re-launched. This is the suitable time for such discussions," he said.


He reiterated Russia's support for the Arab project to make the Middle East region free of mass destruction weapons, and said: "We support this project, and through serious discussions, we can reach an agreement in this regard".

El-Araby commended the idea of the Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum instituting a framework for joint action and cooperation between the two sides.


The Arab-Russia Cooperation Forum was established in December 2009 and held its first session in Moscow in 2013.


The forum tends to develop natural relations between Russia and the Arab League in all fields together with regular consultations on regional and international issues and the bilateral cooperation within the UN in addition to the economic, scientific and cultural cooperation and others.

(This story was originally published by Russia Herald)


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