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Russian, Tunisian foreign ministers to discuss situation in Middle East

June 25, 2012, 11:49 UTC+3

The talks will also touch upon issues of the development of bilateral relations

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MOSCOW, June 25 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold talks with his Tunisian counterpart Rafik Abdessalem, who arrived on a visit to Russia on June 27 through June 30. The talks will focus on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

The two foreign ministers “will discuss the situation abound Syria, the situation in Libya, and problems of the Middle East and West Sahara settlement,” the ministry said.

“Russia is closely watching the developments in this region,” the ministry noted. “Our stance is that any transformations in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the settlement of internal political differences should be done by peaceful means, through broad national dialogue within the constitutional framework. Russia insists that norms and principles of international law must be strictly observed in the interests of regional stability and security.”

The talks will also touch upon issues of the development of bilateral relations. Tunisia is among Russia’s key trade partners in the Arab world. Trade turnover between the two states in 2011 was 1.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Moscow “attaches greater significance to a next, the fifth, session of the Russian-Tunisian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic, and scientific and technological cooperation, which will outline basic guidelines of further joint efforts, and will give a fresh impetus to our comprehensive cooperation.”

Apart from that, the Tunisian foreign minister and his Russian colleagues will consider prospects for further improvement of the legal basis of bilateral cooperation. The two foreign ministers will sign an intergovernmental agreement on visa-free trips by holders of diplomatic, service and special passports.

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