Expert Opinions The Eastern Perspective
Welcome Message from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Participants in the Valdai Club's Middle East Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a welcome message to the participants of the Valdai Club's February 19-20 Middle East Conference in Moscow. Here is the full text:

“I cordially welcome the organizers and participants of the conference 'Middle East: New Stage, Old Problems?'”

Today the Middle East, while passing through a period of hardship, remains at the center of the global agenda. How the situation develops in the region won't just determine the future of its states, but all international security and stability.

 “Geopolitical engineering” methods, attempts to impose upon the MENA nations, even by force, development models and values that are alien to them, have led to the weakening or collapse of national governments in a number of countries, and to an unprecedented surge in international terrorism, a large-scale migration crisis, and the violation of a centuries-old patchwork of ethnic and religious harmony.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the protracted Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not yet resolved. And the use of a universally-recognized international legal framework for its settlement has persistently been undermined by one-sided “recipes”, developed in secrecy.

Russia has consistently advocated overcoming the numerous problems of the region through political and diplomatic channels, collectively, through the promotion of a national dialogue in full compliance with international law.

It is this approach that we've implemented in relation to the Syrian crisis, where, thanks in large part to our efforts, we've managed to deal a crushing blow to the terrorists, launched the political process, and created conditions for the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.

We will continue to promote the achievement of a sustainable settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic based on the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Of course, we will continue to assist in the resolution of other conflicts, including the age-old Palestinian problem, within the framework of the well-known resolutions of the United Nations and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The complex processes in the Middle East require in-depth, professional, comprehensive analysis.

I expect that your conference will also contribute to this.

I wish you fruitful work and all the best. ”
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.