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RF, France Foreign, Def ministers to discuss Libya, Syria, ABM

September 07, 2011, 5:58 UTC+3

The 10th session of the Russia-France Cooperation Council on Security (RFCCS) opens here on Wednesday

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MOSCOW, September 7 (Itar-Tass) — The 10th session of the Russia-France Cooperation Council on Security (RFCCS) opens here on Wednesday. Consultations will be held at the level of Foreign and Defence ministers -- Sergei Lavrov and Alain Juppe, Anatoly Serdyukov and Gerard Longuet, respectively. The ministerial talks will focus on the situation in Libya and Syria, the problems of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defence, and Russia's dialogue with the European Union (EU) and NATO.

RF President Dmitry Medvedev is to receive participants in the "two plus two" format of dialogue on Wednesday.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said earlier that, considering cooperation between Moscow and Paris in the United Nations Organization and in the UN Security Council, the sides "will consider the state of affairs throughout all-European cooperation space with emphasis on the initiative proposed by the President of the RF to conclude a legally binding European Security Treaty, on ABM problems, as well as on Russia's partnership interaction with the EU and NATO".

The Ministers are also to touch upoin the developments in the Middle East and in North Africa, including Libya and Syria. "The escalation of tension in the region gives rise to many a question," Lukashevich pointed out. "In the dialogue with the French partners, it is of importance first of all to clarify what our two (two) countries -- Permanent Members of the UNSC -- are ready concertedly to suggest as an optimum recipe for the international community for settling such crisis situations".

The sides are to exchange views on the nuclear problems of Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "On these issues, Russia and France adhere in many respects to coinciding positions," the diplomat recalled. "However, there are also certain discrepancies. We are interested in specifying the sphere of differing approaches, particularly with an eye to the forthcoming discussions at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly".

The sides will also discuss the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Moscow proceeds from the assumption that "progress in that process is demanded by the international community. We hope in contact with the French partners to designate the main lines of our coordinated actions".

The Foreign and Defence ministers are to compare notes on approaches to establishing a peace process in Afghanistan, consider ways to settle Kosovo, Dniester region, and Nagorno-Karabakh issues.

Paris refers to the RFCCS as a "special format for dialogue" between Russia and France. Apart from a plenary meeting, the ministers are also to hold bilateral talks, a French Foreign Ministry official said.

The RFCCS was set up in 2002 by a decision of the leaders of states. Its sessions are held regularly once or twice a year. The latest round of talks in this format was held in Paris on September 7, 2010.


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