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MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Arab states have been taking an increasingly independent political course over the past few years, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told a plenary session of the State Duma (lower house of parliament), noting that Russia expects to develop close contacts with the Arab world.
"The relationship (between Russia and the Arab League) has had its ups and downs, since there have been different periods in the region’s overall development and in particular, the Arab world," he told the session that is reviewing the ratification of an accord between Russia and the Arab League on its official representative mission in Moscow.
"Of course, the most difficult times came with the start of the so-called Arab spring at the start of 2011, when even (the Arab League) joked bitterly that Arab matters were settled by three non-Arab states - Turkey, Iran and Israel," said Bogdanov, who is the Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa.
However, certain changes have been seen over the last few years. "Now the situation is picking up, first of all the situation has transformed in Egypt when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power after the Muslim Brotherhood, and now their politics are getting ever more independent," the diplomat noted.
"We hope the situation will continue to improve and our ties with the Arab world will become closer," the envoy added.
The agreement on the Arab League’s Russian representative mission was signed when the organization’s Secretary General Nabil Elaraby visited Moscow in July 2015.
The agreement includes the allocation of official and diplomatic privileges and immunity to the League’s envoys. The mission itself has been operating in Russia since 1990. The aim of the deal was to adjust the mission’s legal status to conform with Russian legislation.