Taking part in the meeting were Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Presidential Aide Sergei Prikhodko, Representative of the League of Arab States in the Russian Federation Juma al-Ferjani, and Aide to the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Dina Douay.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Secretary General, I am glad to see you again, and I am pleased that you have come to our forum here in St Petersburg. Just now, at the conference, you made most interesting comments during the discussion of the subject matters.
At the moment, we are all in need of change and renewal. Indeed, that is the theme of our conference, and I hope that this fully meets your expectations.
I recall my visit to the League of Arab States’ headquarters and our conversation and I think we had a very beneficial exchange of opinions and it was very interesting for me to speak there. Some time has passed since then, and it should be admitted the situation has not become simpler, and the problems that you and I discussed during my visit, still persist.
In looking at the Palestinian problem, unfortunately, the situation is truly complicated. You recently visited Gaza, where the situation is flat-out critical and deteriorating with every passing day. A great deal depends on achieving a unified stance between our nations – the Russian Federation and the Arab world overall.
Of course, I have had some discussions recently having met this year with many leaders, including the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, and I had some rather productive conversations about these issues in Syria and Turkey. Overall, I have quite a few things to share, so I would like to focus on this problem.
Russia’s clear position remains the same and I explained it during my visit to your headquarters. Some very serious effort is certainly needed to improve the situation somehow, let alone resolve it.
I am certainly prepared to discuss other matters too.
Once again, Mr Secretary General, I welcome you.
Secretary General of the League of Arab States Amr Moussa: Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to the forum, I truly appreciate it. I think it is important to make note of the essential ideas you brought up in your speech at the forum.
I should say I also remember and appreciate your visit to the League of Arab States’ headquarters. In this regard I must stress Russia’s policies have credence in the Arab world as Russia follows the right policies and has the right views of the situation, unlike some other parties.
As for the situation in the Middle East, it doesn’t really change and we seem to be going in circles. Israel is not ready for peace. I have to state clearly that Israel lacks the political will. The indirect Palestinian-Israeli talks currently taking place have not produced any results so far.
What we see is nothing but crisis management while instead of managing the crisis the underlying problem must be resolved and settled. Unfortunately, the current efforts are a waste of time. When we decided to support the Palestinians and give them the opportunity to engage in talks with the Israelis, we set a timeline of 120 days, but what will happen after these 120 days pass? The talks have already been going on for twenty years, without any results.
I have already spoken about this with Russia’s Foreign Minister and we agreed that in late summer or early fall, at the beginning of the new political season, we should review the progress in the settlement process.