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Lavrov to discuss Syria, energy with Gulf top diplomats

May 26, 2016, 8:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian foreign minister will meet with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman

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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Syria and the oil and gas sector are expected to top the agenda of talks of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman within the framework of the 4th meeting of the strategic dialog Russia-Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, scheduled for Thursday.

Regional agenda of global dimension

Settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, creation of prerequisites for the region’s transition from a protracted crisis to stability and sustainable development, and reliable security in the Gulf will be in the spotlight of the talks.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow "places emphasis on deepening coordination between our countries in the sphere of counteraction to transnational terrorism and extremism, neutralization of other threats and challenges in the region and the launch of an inter-confessional and inter-civilizational dialog."

Syria is expected to dominate the meeting.

Energy and investments

"Besides, promotion of cooperation in trade and investments will be top priority at the coming meeting in the Russian capital," the foreign ministry said. "Russian economic operators are revealing growing interest in major projects, implemented and planned by the Gulf nations."

Reciprocal visits are on the rise along with dynamic and sustainable expansion of mutually beneficial ties, in particular in the sectors where Russia and the Gulf countries can use the potential of partnership to the maximum and augment each other’s economic possibilities, the ministry said.

Russia prioritizes the oil and gas sector, finance, energy, transport infrastructure, application of the most advanced Russian technologies, especially in the spheres of so-called "peaceful atom", space, tourism, culture and humanitarian contacts.

Oil prices cannot be excluded from the most relevant issues at the talks.

Earlier, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow might view a possibility of consultations with OPEC states. The talks have not been held since the meeting of oil producing nations in Doha, which failed to reach an agreement to freeze oil output at the level of January 2016.

Strategic dialog

Russia persistently calls for growth of multilayered ties with Arab states in the Gulf both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

‘We proceed from the fact that close cooperation with Arabian monarchies meets long-term Russian interests and helps to strengthen our positions in the Persian Gulf and in the entire space of the Middle East and North Africa," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Intense contacts with the Gulf Cooperation Council constitute inseparable part of Russian links to the Islamic world and facilitate the promotion of multilayered investments into the country’s economy on mutually beneficial conditions.

Russia "maintains intensive political dialog with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, which tackles the most complicated processes unfolding in the world and in the region as well," it said.

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