I welcome the participants of the conference, “The Middle East in a Time of Change: Towards New Stability Architecture”, which has been organised by the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Your intellectual efforts are in urgent need. A wide range of Middle Eastern states continue to find themselves facing serious tribulations, caused by attempts to impose alien values and development models on their people, including by force. Today, the tension in the Persian Gulf is being escalated artificially. A serious destabilising factor has been the political role of the so-called “Deal of the century”, that was released in late January.
We consistently proceed from the assumption that peace and stability can only be achieved throughout the Middle East through adherence to international law, and respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries of the region. Incidentally, on the basis of these principles, it has been possible to maintain Syrian statehood, to achieve significant success in the fight against terrorism, and to launch an inter-Syrian political process.
Obviously, the best way to prevent escalation is to work proactively to prevent the emergence of new conflicts. In this regard, Russia advocates the formation of an integrated collective security mechanism and cooperation in the Persian Gulf region. Our proposals are summarised in the corresponding Concept. We are convinced that their consistent implementation will help establish the foundation for an architecture of mutual trust in the Middle East region.
I hope that your meeting will contribute to the promotion of a constructive agenda in the Middle East and Northern Africa. I wish you fruitful discussions and all the best.
Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian FederationMoscow, February 17, 2020.