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Arab world unity crucial to resolving conflicts - Russia’s envoy

It is important to avoid further escalation and to extinguish this crisis, said Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office Alexey Borodavkin

GENEVA, July 15. /TASS/. Russia expects that the rift among the Gulf Arab nations should be overcome in the soonest possible time, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin told reporters on Saturday.

When asked if the rift among Gulf Arab nations had an impact on the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, Borodavkin said: "Although we do not feel yet any effect of this crisis on the intra-Syrian talks, I think a larger unity in the Arab world is always crucial to reaching agreements on conflict situations, whether they are Syria, Libya, Yemen or any other situations that pose a risk of evolving into a conflict."

"We are concerned about the crisis in relations among fraternal Arab countries in the Persian Gulf," the Russian diplomat said. "I think it is important to avoid further escalation and to extinguish this crisis."

Talks brokered by Kuwait are underway on various platforms, he added.

"We support and welcome these efforts and try to make our contribution so that this crisis can be taken off the agenda as soon as possible," Borodavkin noted.

On June 5, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Doha in retaliation for what they described as Qatar’s support for terrorism and extremism, its hostile policy and intervention in the affairs of Arab states. Doha dismissed the allegations as unfounded.

Some countries announced they had taken a series of other measures, including the termination of sea and air communication, the suspension of banking transactions and the expulsion of Qatari diplomats and citizens. On June 22, four Arab states advanced 13 demands to Qatar for restoring relations and gave it a 10-day deadline to comply with them.

On July 5, the deadline expired, but Doha’s response handed via Kuwait was met with regret by the boycotting nations. They vowed to continue their political and economic pressure on Qatar until it changes its policy.

On June 10-14, Geneva hosted the seventh round of intra-Syrian talks that brought together delegations of the Syrian government and three opposition groups (so-called ‘Cairo,’ ‘Moscow’ and ‘Riyadh’ groups). The next round of talks is scheduled for September.