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Foreign Ministers of Russia and Qatar to talk Syria, bilateral cooperation on Saturday

Sergey Lavrov and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani will discuss the situation in Syria, fighting terrorism and expansion of economic relations between the two countries

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to hold talks with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani in Moscow on Saturday.

The ministers will discuss the situation in Syria, fighting terrorism and expansion of economic relations between the two countries.

"The meeting in Moscow will make it possible to coordinate positions on the key developments on the Middle East with an emphasis on finding options for resolving crisis situations there and the need to counter the threat of international terrorism. The ministers will exchange of views on a wide range of relevant issues of regional and international agenda and further development of bilateral relations," an official with the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The meeting on Saturday will continue "a good tradition of bilateral contacts," the official added.

In early May 2016, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani visited Sochi, where he was received by President Vladimir Putin and held talks with Sergei Lavrov.

On May 25-26, 2016, the Foreign Minister of Qatar also participated in a ministerial meeting in Moscow that was held as part of the strategic dialogue between Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.


Spotlight on Syria


The Russian and Qatari Foreign Ministers will pay special attention to the situation in Syria. In particular, they will consider "the development of the military-political situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the prospects for the advancement of a political process there with constructive international assistance."

The recent days saw aggravation of the situation in Syria.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on April 4, Syrian aviation bombed workshops, where militants produced ammunition with poisonous substances. That ammunition was supplied to Iraq and used in Aleppo.

However, Washington, without waiting for an objective investigation of the incident, stated that Damascus used chemical weapons. The US military struck a missile attack by launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in the Syrian province of Homs. According to Washington, a chemical attack was allegedly launched from that field.

The further development of the situation in Syria as a result of the US strike became the main topic of the series of talks held in Moscow this week.

On April 12, Lavrov discussed Syrian issues with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

On April 13, the Russian minister held a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, and on April 14, trilateral consultations took place with the participation of the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif


Energy and investments


The talks will consider the implementation of the agreements reached during the Russian-Qatar summit meeting in January 2016 in Moscow.

"An important role in building up business cooperation between Moscow and Doha belongs to the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation under the co-chairmanship of Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and the Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar, Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sadi. The next, third, meeting of the commission has been slated for late April in Doha," an official with the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian party also highlights significant results in investment cooperation. In December 2016, a privatization deal was completed to sell a 19.5% stake in Rosneft. The consortium, which became one of the company's shareholders, was created by the Qatar Sovereign Fund and the Swiss trading company Glencore.