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Russian Foreign Minister takes floor at UN General Assembly session

September 29, 2012, 3:16 UTC+3

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday took the floor at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly

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UNITED NATIONS, September 17 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday took the floor at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.

One of the issues he highlighted in his speech was the crisis in Syria, in connection with which Lavrov said there was still some opportunity left for collective actions on peaceful settlement of the situation in the much-suffering Arab country.

“Russia strongly condemns any violence wherever it comes from and it feels confident that an opportunity for collective actions still exists,” Lavrov said. “Practical steps towards the elimination of the crisis should begin with a general ceasefire, release of prisoners and hostages, and deliveries of more consignments of humanitarian aid.”

“This will set the scene for establishing an inter-Syrian dialogue,” Lavrov said. “We hope the experience of the special envoy of the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi will make it possible /for the parties to the conflict/ to arrange the needed type of agreements with assistance from the international community.”

“Russia will facilitate Mr. Brahimi’s mission in every way,” he said.

He underlined the importance of practical action on the decision to convene before the end of 2012 a conference on setting up a zone free of the weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

“Quite naturally, it’s important to ensure that all the regional countries take part in it and make efforts to coordinate the key agreements between themselves,” Lavrov said. “The Arab League is called upon to play a prominent role in the process.”

He said the UN Charter does not give the right to any country to engage in dislodgment of ruling regimes in other countries.

“All the actions we take should rely on the solid foundation of the UN Charter and the Charter doesn’t contain any provisions that might empower us to change regimes,” Lavrov said.

He recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin set out the same position in bold relief in his speech in the Kremlin September 26.

“The entire sequence of events in the Arab world and in other regions testifies to the fruitlessness of such policies, which are capable of leading up to a dangerous stockpiling of inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions in international relations,” Lavrov said.

“We believe every state has a duty to fend off the provocative and outrageous acts insulting the religious feelings of the disciples of any religious denomination,” he said. “Along with this, there’s no justifying the terrorist acts wherever they are committed – in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, or anywhere else.”


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