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Russia concerned about aggravated relations between Arab countries, Qatar - Lavrov

June 10, 2017, 13:31 UTC+3

It is necessary to provide cooperation in the Middle East for successful fighting terrorism, Russia's Foreign Minister said

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Russia learned with concern the information about severance of diplomatic relations by Arab countries with Qatar, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in beginning of the negotiations with Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Saturday.

"You visited Moscow in April, and we then had a detailed discussion of main directions in futher development of the Russia-Qatar relations and the key aspects of the situation in the region," Lavrov said. "Today we shall continue the dialogue between our countries on all the issues of mutual interest."

"Of course, among the issues (we shall discuss) would be the aggravation of the situation in the Arab world," Lavrov said. "The information about certain Arab countries' severance of relations with Qatar has caused our concern."

"We, as a matter of policy, do not interfere with either home affairs of other countries or with their bilateral relations," Lavrov said. "However, we cannot be pleased with the situation, where these relations between our counterparts are aggravating."

"We support contacts with most participant in these processes, the Russian president has telephone conversations with the counterparts in the region, and our conversation today will continue those efforts," he said. "Everything Russia can do with agreement, interest of the involved parties - we shall try to do."

It is necessary to provide cooperation in the Middle East for successful fighting terrorism, Lavrov said.

Moscow is for settling any conflict, including the aggravated situation around Qatar, at the negotiations table, the Russian minister said. "Only by means of a direct dialogue it is possible to understand better each other’s concerns, to consider ways to overcome those concerns, to have transparency in all issues."

"And of course it is important to see beyond the events the main thing - and the main threat both for the region’s country and beyond the region, we believe, is terrorism," Lavrov said. "It is most important to focus on cooperation, on uniting efforts for preventing and stopping this threat."

"It is absolutely clear to us that for maximum effective actions on this background it is necessary to have unity among the Arab League, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, all countries in the region, and the countries outside the region," he said.

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Yemen, the interim government of Libya, Mauritius and the Maldives announced they severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and extremist ideology, of hostile policy and meddling in the affairs of the Arab states. Later on, Mauritania and the Comoros Islands followed suit. Jordan and Djibouti reduced their diplomatic status with Qatar. Some countries said they would cut sea and air traffic to Qatar, as well as expel Qatar’s diplomats and citizens. Qatar expressed regret over this decision calling it groundless.

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