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8 Feb, 2007 00:31

Arab world sees Russia as unbiased go-between: Amr Moussa

Arab world sees Russia as unbiased go-between: Amr Moussa

The Arab League Secretary General, Amr Moussa, has met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Mr Moussa praised Russia as one of the few countries that understands the situation in the Middle East.

The Moscow visit of Mr Moussa came during a period of heightened tensions in the Middle East. Their meeting demonstrated that both the Arab League Secretary General and Russia’s President have a common approach to this problem, which could be boiled down to the statement that a collective search for solutions and diplomacy must be above all in the process of finding a solution to the problems of the region.

“The President and Amr Moussa confirmed their support for an international conference on the Middle East. It’s not the first time the President stressed the importance of preparing for such an event. And we have the full understanding and support of the Arab league states. Similarly, on Iraq, there’s an understanding of the need for an international forum that would help Iraq reach a national unity and involve all Iraq’s neighbors, the Arab League and the UN,” said Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.

Mr Lavrov added that both Russia and the Arab League believe the time for this forum will come soon.

Meanwhile, Russia seems to be preparing to take a more active role in attempts to end the region’s conflicts. President Putin is due to begin a tour of the Persian Gulf at the weekend.  Mr Moussa said the tour should promote a better understanding of how to resolve the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

“Russia enjoys confidence in the Middle East, the Arab world has confidence in Russian diplomacy,” said Mr Moussa in an interview for Russia Today. “Besides, the last decades have seen closer relations between Russia and the Arab world. Russia can work both with Arab parties and with Israel. It is able to move things that have been stalled for so many years because of the bias of certain international policies towards Israel against the Arabs – which is not the case at all with the Russian diplomacy.”

Mr Putin seemed to fully agree with the Arab League Secretary General.

“It’s well known that Russia traditionally has good relations with all Arab countries. Today we don’t have any problems with any of the Arab states. Unlike in the previous decades, we have no ideological, economic or any other disagreements. Relations between Russia and the Arab countries are either good or very good,” stressed the Russian President.