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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

UAE and Russia in talks to tackle extremism in Middle East

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has met with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss extremism across the region and other matters of mutual interest.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, right, and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, discussed ways to tackle extremism in the Middle East during a meeting in Moscow. Maxim Shipenkov / EPA
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, right, and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, discussed ways to tackle extremism in the Middle East during a meeting in Moscow. Maxim Shipenkov / EPA

MOSCOW // Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to discuss ways to tackle extremism.

The two exchanged views on regional and international developments, as well as on the positions of their countries on fighting terrorism. They spoke of the importance of preserving international peace and security and protecting the stability and peace of the region, according to state news agency Wam.

“Extremism was a main topic in my talks today with my colleague, the Russian foreign minister,” said Sheikh Abdullah following the meeting on Thursday. “As such, it may be an ideological issue, but today we see its consequences on peoples, states and the future of the region.

“That is why it is important that the proposed cure for extremism should not be confined to security. Rather, it should also be inclusive of the ideological and political aspects as well as the diverse social and economic challenges facing peoples.

“That is also why bringing to an end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories captured in 1967 and creating a Palestinian state are essential, not only from a legal perspective but also in terms of countering the spread of extremism in the region.”

Mr Lavrov said that the most important issues facing the Middle East were discussed.

“We talked about the situations in Yemen, Syria, Libya and Iraq and we are confident that, along with the joint efforts being made to find solutions to all these conflicts, we also must intensify our joint efforts to counter the danger of terrorism and extremism in the Middle East,” he said.

“We believe that the activities of Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorist organisations pose serious challenges to peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa. Russia and the UAE will enhance efforts to fight terrorism, not only in the framework of their bilateral relations but also at international circles.”

Views on Iran’s nuclear programme were also exchanged.

“We are close to a final solution to this issue and hope that the positive outcome of our joint efforts will contribute to driving cooperation on security and stability in the Arabian Gulf,” Mr Lavrov said.

“We also have a common position on pulling the Middle East peace process out of its current deadlock. A Palestinian state must be created to preserve the security of all the states of the region. For our part, we support the Arab efforts for peace.” Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE was working on promoting cooperation with Russia in the political, economic, investment, trade and energy domains, among others.

In turn, Mr Lavrov said he welcomed Sheikh Abdullah’s visit to further discuss cooperation in various fields of interest for the two countries.

He hosted a dinner banquet in honour of Sheikh Abdullah and his delegation, which included Maj Gen Faris Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Military and Security Affairs, Ahmed Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, and Omar Ghobash, Ambassador of the UAE to Russia.

Sheikh Abdullah on Friday met with Denis Manturov, the Russian minister of trade and industry, and he pointed to special ties between the two countries, especially in the fields of commerce, industry, economic investment and energy.

newsdesk@thenational.ae