Special envoy of the Russian Foreign Minister for the Middle East has completed his visit to Lebanon. This visit coincided with the complicated period in the regional developments, he said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
According to Andrei Vdovin, the situation there has been complicated for a long time already, but at the present time it is especially tense - terrorist acts being staged prompt an adequate reaction.
In this connection, said the diplomat, Russia has always pointed out that it is necessary to find a balanced decision which would provide for a simultaneous and parallel solution in three directions. Security - an end must be put to the use of force in this conflict. It is necessary to resume the political process without which any decision on security will be unstable. Finally, measures should be taken to restore the Palestinian economy and reform the Palestinian institutions.
Proceeding from this, said Andrei Vdovin, we acted in contact and in coordination with other members of the Group of Four Countries, that is, Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, in order to lead the situation out of the blind alley of violence and to make it develop towards a political settlement. Great attention in this connection was paid to the convocation of an international conference on the Middle East. At the present time, unanimity has practically been achieved in this respect - this conference would be a right step in the right direction if it is convened on the basis of the Madrid mandate and UN Security Council resolutions and if it takes into account the Arab peace initiative which was taken by Saudi Arabia and approved at the Beirut summit of the League of Arab States.
It should be noted, continued Andrei Vdovin, that "a kind of race is going on between the factor of escalation and the factor of de-escalation." It is difficult to say now which of the factors will win a victory. But one thing is obvious - the Russian co-sponsor, in cooperation with other international colleagues, will continue its efforts aimed at finding a solution to this conflict, because if such a solution is not found the region will be sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of violence and instability.
Syria and Lebanon, said Andrei Vdovin, are among the main participants in the Middle East process. Without them it is impossible to settle the situation in the region. "We believe," said the Russian special representative, "that the interests of Syria and Lebanon should be protected and their point of view should be taken into consideration." And of course, continued Andrei Vdovin, an all-embracing settlement is required, a settlement that would "take into consideration the Palestinian aspect and the aspects of Syria and Lebanon which are closely interconnected. A settlement without the participation of Syria and Lebanon is impossible," he pointed out. It is in this context that Russia will continue its efforts.
On Thursday the Russian special representative leaves Lebanon.