ABU DHABI // The first joint ministerial meeting on strategic dialogue between the GCC and Russia was held in the capital yesterday.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, represented the GCC and Russia sent its foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.
Abdul-Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, the GCC secretary general, was also expected to be present as well as other foreign ministers from the council, according to Wam, the state news agency.
A statement from Alexander Lukashevich, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said main topics on the schedule included the development of economic, commercial and investment cooperation.
"Recently, Russian economic operators have shown a growing interest to participate in major projects in the Gulf; trade is picking up," the statement said. "Among the most promising areas of cooperation are oil and gas, energy, transport infrastructure, the introduction of advanced Russian technologies, including in the field of peaceful nuclear energy, outer space, tourism, cultural and humanitarian spheres."
Dr Vladimir Titorenko, the Russian ambassador to Qatar, expressed his country's condemnation of the action taken by the Syrian government.
"It is surprising that many Qatari analysts have not properly understood the Russian position on Syria. We are viewed as advocates of the Syrian government," Dr Titorenko was quoted in the Qatari daily, The Peninsula.
"Russia has strongly condemned the use of force by the Syrian army against the demonstrators. President Bashar Al Assad should implement the reforms as quickly as possible. He is late with the reforms."
Also on the agenda, according to the Wam statement, was a joint work plan between GCC and Russia to strengthen mutual cooperation in all areas, particularly in the fields of economy, trade, investment, education, scientific research, environment and health.