“The League of Arab States has deserved authority and influence in the international community”, Mr Medvedev said in his message. “Over many decades it has made an important contribution to regional peace, integration, humanitarian dialogue, and building up trust and mutual understanding in the Arab world.
I am pleased to see the steady development of Russia’s relations with the Arab countries. Working in a spirit of mutually advantageous partnership, we are expanding our trade and economic relations, investment ties, and cooperation in the energy sector. We are intensifying our cooperation on a broad range of international and regional issues, and we are firmly committed to continuing this work together.
There are good conditions for this. We share close or common positions on most of the current international problems – nuclear non-proliferation, terrorism, extremism, and settlement of regional conflicts.
Russia will continue to assist collective efforts to settle disputes in the Middle East and North Africa. It is in our common interest to bring stability to this region.
It is especially important today to overcome the consequences of the recent crisis in the Gaza Strip. We note the positive results obtained at the international donors conference in Sharm El Sheikh on March 2. It is important for the international community to show its readiness to make considerable funds available for rebuilding Gaza. Russia, for its part, will continue to assist the Palestinians in a wide range of different areas.
Restoring Palestinian unity around the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, under the auspices of the Palestinian National Authority, is a priority task today. We hope for positive developments in the dialogue between Palestinians.
This will serve the main objective – a return to the peace process. We need to end the occupation of Arab lands and establish a sovereign and viable Palestinian state that will coexist in peace and security with Israel.
I am sure that only a comprehensive and fair settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, based on universally recognised international law and the Arab peace initiative, will bring stability to the region. The Moscow conference on the Middle East aims to contribute towards this goal. We hope that all of the Arab countries will take an active part in the conference’s work.
We place great importance on measures to stabilize the situation in Iraq. We think that guaranteeing national consensus built on dialogue involving all of Iraq’s main political forces and ethnic and religious communities is absolutely vital for strengthening the country’s sovereignty and preserving its territorial integrity and unity.
Russia also places great importance on maintaining stability in the strategically important Persian Gulf region. We have put forward a security concept for this region. We hope that our Arab partners will add to Russia’s proposals.”
Mr Medvedev’s message was delivered at the conference by Alexander Saltanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and special presidential envoy for the Middle East.