Lavrov in Syria; we share similar views on regional issues
Syria-Russia, Politics, 9/8/2004
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara and the Russian Ambassador in Damascus.
Talks during the meeting dealt with the peace process in the Middle East and the implementation of the UN resolutions.
The Russian Foreign Minister also highly evaluated Syria's stances over regional and international issues, stressing that Syria is an important factor of stability in the region. He also emphasized significance of President al-Assad's visit to Russia.
Meantime, Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara and his Russian counterpart Sergie Lavrov on Tuesday discussed latest regional and international developments, particularly in Iraq and the developments of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as issues of mutual interest.
Talks also dealt with the standing historical relations between the two countries and means of enhancing them. Points of views were identical regarding the issues raised.
In a joint press conference following the meeting, al-Shara described the Russian Minister's meeting with President Bashar al-Assad as "important, rich and positive."
He stressed that the discussions held at the Foreign Ministry reflect both sides' identical views regarding the issues discussed, particularly regarding Iraq and Palestine and the peace process. He added that this visit enhances the bilateral relations between the two sides.
For his part, Lavrov conveyed Russia's government and people appreciation over the solidarity of the Syrian people regarding the act of terrorism perpetrated in Beslan school. He quoted President al-Assad as saying that Syria will be always a strong ally to Russia in combating terrorism.
On the situation in Iraq, Lavrov stressed identical views with Syria regarding the necessity that all segments of the Iraqi people act to achieve stability in the country, stressing the important role of Iraq's neighboring countries in this regard.
He also called for holding an international conference with the participation of the neighboring countries to find a solution to the current situation in Iraq.
Lavrov stressed on enhancing the bilateral relations between Russia and Syria in all fields, and on activating joint official committees.
In response to a question on Iraq, al-Shara expressed regret over the deteriorated security situation there, pointing out that Syria is affected by what is going on inside Iraq, so improving the situations there serves the Syrian and Iraqi interest.
He stressed the importance of maintaining Iraq's unity and sovereignty, adding that what is going on in Iraq is a resistance on one side and terrorism on the other, since targeting non-occupying forces, civilians or governmental establishments is considered terrorism so we should distinguish between terrorism and resistance.
On his talks in Israel, Lavrov underlined his country's determination on finding a comprehensive political solution in the Middle East, including the Syrian and Lebanese tracks.
Regarding the latest UN Security Council resolution on Lebanon, al-Shara pointed out to the positive aspects of the amendments inserted into the draft resolution which aimed at avoiding intervention in the Syrian-Lebanese relations as much as possible. Al-Shara considered the report required to be presented regarding the resolution is a routine procedure in such international resolutions, stressing that Syria didn't ask any other country to use the veto because it didn't want escalation.
He concluded saying that important relations between Syria and Lebanon are going to witness more openness and strength between the two states.
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