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Russian foreign minister calls for honest look at Europe’s migration crisis

December 08, 2016, 16:02 UTC+3 HAMBURG (Germany)

"An honest discussion of the causes behind Europe’s migration crisis is necessary," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

HAMBURG (Germany), December 8 /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should honestly admit that unilateral intervention in the Middle East is the root cause of Europe’s migration crisis, if it wants to get it over and done with, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in his speech at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council on Thursday.

"An honest discussion of the causes behind Europe’s migration crisis is necessary. It is the result of gross interference in the affairs of Middle Eastern and North African countries the crisis has led to chaos, a rise in terrorism, human casualties and much suffering. All this is the result of unilateral intervention," the Russian foreign minister added.

"The OSCE should remember this lesson when tackling the migration dilemma. It is impossible to confine the discussion exclusively to collective measures designed to soften the consequences of illegitimate unilateral interventionism," the Russian foreign minister said.

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, the incumbent OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, said at the opening of the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council on Thursday that the international situation had drastically deteriorated since the start of 2016.

"Times have got tougher since the beginning of the year: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine," the German foreign minister noted. "Crises have become commonplace," he added.

Meanwhile, Russia has drawn up a number of draft resolutions against discrimination in sports and on pluralism in the media in the run-up to the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.

"Russia has drawn up (along with Belarus and Kazakhstan) draft resolutions on such vital issues as non-discrimination in sports and guaranteeing pluralism in the media in the run-up to the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg," the Russian Foreign Ministry said a day earlier on Thursday.

"We want the OSCE Ministerial Council to adopt two separate declarations on non-discrimination against Christians and Muslims in compliance with a directive adopted at the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Basel, Switzerland, in 2014," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

"We consider the upcoming meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg to be a venue for conducting a political dialogue at a high ministerial level, carrying out an open political discussion on common challenges as well as restoring trust among states," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia stands for strengthening the OSCE’s role and authority, and increasing its relevance in global affairs. The main task at this stage, characterized by the confrontation and general crisis in Europe’s security system, is to restore trust among states. Russia is ready for this dialogue," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We should not allow minimizing the OSCE’s role in the struggle against transnational threats such as terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking. We stand for creating an anti-drug unit at the OSCE Secretariat," the ministry went on to say.

"We welcome the inclusion of a topic such as the migration crisis, which has swept through Western Europe, in the OSCE’s agenda. We also believe that the OSCE can make its contribution to analyzing the root causes behind the migration crisis and render assistance in overcoming its consequences and guaranteeing migrants’ basic rights," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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