Source Pravda.Ru

Putin hopes Arab summit's decisions will have positive effect

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the decisions of the Arab summit, which has opened in Tunisia, will hopefully have a positive impact on the developments in the Middle East, reads the president's message to the summit.

"Your summit is taking place at a time when the situation in the Middle East has been aggravated by a lot of complicated problems and dramatic events," reads the message.

"We believe your decisions will have a serious positive effect on further developments in the region," said the Russian president.

This refers, above all, to the prospects of comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.

"Russia is concerned about the fact that the roadmap, which was approved by both parties to the conflict and has the international backing, has not been implemented for a long period of time now," said Mr Putin.

The Russian leader therefore believes that coordinated efforts need to be taken to amend the situation and ensure the implementation of the roadmap, which is an inalternative settlement plan.

All unilateral moves in this direction must not predetermine final settlement, which can be achieved through direct talks and mutually acceptable agreements between the parties and on a solid international basis stipulated, above all, in United Nations Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515.

"We believe that the roadmap provides good opportunities for establishing a lasting and fair peace in the region and ending the occupation of Arab lands. Palestine and Israel will coexist as independent states within their secure and internationally recognized borders no longer fearing terrorism and all other forms of violence," wrote Mr. Putin.

"Russia believes a long stagnation period in the peace process with respect to Syria and Lebanon should be ended. Comprehensive settlement will not be achieved in the Middle East until Syria gets back its Holan Heights, while Lebanon and Israel settle their disputes," said Mr. Putin.

President Putin said Russia was continuing intensive contacts with the other three international mediators in the Mideastern settlement, i.e. the UN, the USA and the European Union, with the aim of advancing the roadmap. "I hope your summit's decisions will promote this plan, which addresses the key aspects of the Arab peace initiatives approved in Beirut in 2002," said Vladimir Putin.

The conflict in Iraq is fueling instability in the region, noted the Russian leader.

"The UN must emerge as the Iraqis' main partner in rebuilding the country after the occupation," the president said in the message.

Russia, as well as the Arab countries, hopes that Iraq will emerge as a sovereign, democratic and prosperous state, which will live in peace with its neighbors, reports the Kremlin press office. Russia advocates the preservation of Iraq's territorial integrity, the observance of its ethnic and religious groups' rights and freedoms.

"I believe the political process in Iraq is in its initial phase after the adoption of the Iraqi constitution. It needs a solid support of the population, as well as a broad, UN-approved support of the global community," the president said in the message.

Russia earnestly seeks the stability and prosperity of the Arab world. It wishes Arab countries success in their search for their own models of development in the socio-economic, political and humanitarian spheres, according to the presidential message.

"Russia will support relevant initiatives by the regional countries that will heed their specific features and interests, and help settle numerous problems," assured the Russian president.

"I would like to reiterate Russia's resolve to intensify constructive cooperation with the Arab League member-countries to ensure peace, security and sustainable development in the Middle East and North Africa, and consolidate international stability in general," wrote President Putin.

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