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Russian diplomat blames external military interference for Iraq turmoil

February 25, 12:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Mikhail Bogdanov covered a range of the Middle East issues in his speech at the Valdai discussion club
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A camp for internally displaced people in Iraq (archive)

A camp for internally displaced people in Iraq (archive)


MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Assistance that Iraq received from the Western coalition against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization raises many questions, Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday.

"Clearly ineffective support that Baghdad receives from the US-led coalition raises many questions," Bogdanov said at the conference "Middle East: From Violence to Security" at the Valdai discussion club.

"The situation in this country is the direct consequence of military interference from the outside under democratic slogans," the diplomat noted.

Moscow seeks an immediate ceasefire in Yemen

According to the official, Moscow stands for immediate ceasefire and start of a national dialog in Yemen.

"An immediate ceasefire and resumption of intra-Yemeni consultations are seen as the main tasks in the emerging circumstances," said Bogdanov.

"Russia, on its part, will continue work in the interests of a peace settlement of the crisis in Yemen," the diplomat confirmed. "We expect that opportunities will appear in March to bring the worrying Yemeni parties to the negotiating table," he added.

Confrontation between the country’s authorities supported by Saudi Arabia and the Houthis has continued in Yemen since August 2014. In January 2015, allies of Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), which is also known as the Houthi movement, seized the capital, Sanaa. President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi fled the capital first to Aden, and after the Houthis entered that city on March 25, he fled the country.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and also including Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, responded to his request and has continued air strikes on Houthi targets from March 26, 2015. Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan also joined the coalition.

Palestinian-Israeli dialogue

The diplomat also noted that Russia supports start of a full-format dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis that should result in the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Unwinding the next spiral of violence in the conflict zone threatens to completely bury any prospects of the peace process Mikhail Bogdanov Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister

Bogdanov noted that "the issue of importance of resuming Palestinian-Israeli negotiations is raised more and more rarely now." "Everyone is first of all concerned about the necessity of preventing violence. Despite the difficult situation, efforts should continue to be aimed at starting full-format negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, and these talks should result in the creation of an independent Palestinian state," the diplomat stated.

"It is necessary to support measures on overcoming the inter-Palestinian split with the prospects of forming a government of national accord and holding presidential and parliamentary elections," the deputy foreign minister said. "Another important issues of ensuring humanitarian aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip," he added.

Russian-Arab cooperation

Bogdanov also pointed out that Russia’s cooperation with the Arab world continues to develop successfully despite difficulties.

"I want to note that despite complicated processes in the region, Russia’s cooperation with the Arab world is increasingly developing," Bogdanov stated.

He reminded that the third session of the forum of Russian-Arab cooperation will take place in Moscow on February 26 at the level of foreign ministers. "Thanks to joint efforts, this forum has turned into an important mechanism of coordinating and forming common approaches between Russia and the League of Arab States," the diplomat concluded.

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