Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a meeting with the ministers of foreign affairs and defense of Russia and Egypt, the correspondent of RIA Novosti reports.
The meeting of S. Lavrov and A. Sisi
The talks were attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and their Egyptian counterparts Sameh Shukri and Sidki Subhi.
Negotiations S. Lavrov and S. Shoukri
Earlier on Monday, Lavrov during his visit to Cairo held a separate meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, as well as with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The meeting of S. Lavrov and A. Abulgate
It is expected that later negotiations will take place in the format "2 + 2", at which the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries will discuss key regional and international problems with an emphasis on the emerging situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Two plus two talks in Cairo
Speech and Answers to Media Questions by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at Joint Press Conference Following Talks in the 2 + 2 Format with Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs S.Shukri, Cairo, 29 May 2017
I would like to once again express my condolences in connection with the heinous terrorist act that took place the other day, when the bandits shot a column of buses with pilots Copts. This once again underscores the need for constant vigilance and the establishment of the widest international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Today, this topic was one of the main issues in the separate negotiations between the foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Egypt and, especially, at the meeting with Egyptian President A. Sisi.
We are united in the need to increase the efforts of the world community in the anti-terrorist direction. Today, in a very detailed way, we examined the practical steps that are being taken. They considered the need for their diversification and deepening of our cooperation both on a bilateral basis and within the framework of the United Nations, where Russia and Egypt continue to cooperate this year in the UN Security Council. I would like to congratulate our Egyptian friends who initiated a very important document - a comprehensive framework to combat the propaganda and ideology of terrorism. This echoes the Russian initiative, which also continues to be considered by the UN Security Council, and the Egyptian initiative has already been approved. Thus, the international legal framework for combating all manifestations of the terrorist ideology, including the reasons for its dissemination, is approved by the entire UN Security Council.
We have certainly discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, where our task is to ensure peace, security, stability, overcome those conflicts that continue to burn in this long-suffering region.
They spoke in detail about Syria and about the need to further advance the settlement process. Our Egyptian friends support the Astana process, within the framework of which 4 May it was agreed to create four zones of de-escalation in Syria, as a first step to spread the ceasefire throughout the country and as a very important measure that will allow the armed opposition to separate terrorists "IGIL" and "Jabhat al-Nusra". As you remember, this task has been one of the key issues in our contacts with the Americans under the administration of Barack Obama, which proved incapable of realizing such a disengagement, primarily with regard to the Jabhat al-Nusra. And this despite the fact that it is included in the terrorist lists of the United Nations and the United States. Now, within the framework of the Astana process with the participation of the guarantor countries - Russia, Turkey and Iran, such disengagement becomes possible. The experts of our countries, with the participation of colleagues from a number of other countries, continue to work on agreeing details that will make it possible in practice to realize the concept of de-escalation zones. We will welcome the participation of our Egyptian friends in this work.
It is also important that the Astana process pushed the Geneva talks. We are supporting a UN effort led by the UN Secretary-General's special envoy, S. de Mistura, and his team. We believe that despite the very modest results of the rounds held, nevertheless, the understandings that the special envoy of the UN Secretary General, S. de Mistura could "put on paper" and which did not provoke rejection of many oppositionists and the Government of Syria, are a step forward and suggest principles , on which the Syrian state must be built, including, what is very important, its secular nature. In addition, at the last round of the Geneva talks it was possible, not without difficulty, but still agree on starting work on constitutional reform. We call on all participants in the Geneva process to concentrate on this issue, along with other issues that have been put on the agenda, including transitional governance issues, combating terrorism and preparing for general elections.
Considered the situation in other hot spots in the region, in particular in Libya. We welcome the efforts of Egypt and the UAE to bring together the positions of various Libyan parties. We support the initiatives being taken by the League of Arab States (LAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations.
In addition, we talked about the problem of the Arab-Israeli settlement. Russia and Egypt are aimed at promoting a two-state solution, enshrined in the UN documents. We support the constructive role of Egypt in resolving issues of the settlement of the Palestinian problem and ensuring security in the Sinai Peninsula.
The sides exchanged views on how to get out of the impasse the process of starting negotiations on the establishment of a zone free of WMD and their means of delivery in the Middle East.
During our bilateral meeting, the state of relations between Russia and Egypt in the political, trade-economic, investment and humanitarian spheres was discussed. We agreed on the priority areas that were discussed today during the meeting with Egyptian President A. Sisi, the implementation of which will allow us to bring our relations to a qualitatively new strategic level. In particular, it is about projects that are designed to give a powerful impetus to the technological development of Egypt. I mean, the construction of the first nuclear power plant, the creation of a Russian industrial zone on the territory of Egypt. Their implementation will create additional jobs, will allow to form entire branches of the economy of Egypt, and also will allow to prepare new highly skilled personnel. All these issues and many others will be considered at the next meeting of the joint Russian-Egyptian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation to be held this fall.
We also agreed to continue to advance on the issue of starting negotiations between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union on the establishment of a free trade zone.
Another important strategic direction of our cooperation is cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres. These issues were discussed in detail during a meeting between Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu and Egyptian Minister of Defense S.Subhi.
Of course, we touched upon the prospects for the resumption of direct flights between our countries, which, as you know, was temporarily suspended after the tragedy in October 2015, when 224 citizen of Russia perished over Sinai as a result of an airplane explosion. We and our Egyptian friends should do everything necessary to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies. In this context, it is of fundamental importance to complete the investigation, as well as to implement the practical steps that were agreed upon between our parties in December 2015, the full implementation of which will allow us to begin the practical resumption of flights. I emphasize once more, it is about fulfilling what was agreed upon. The Russian side does not put forward any new conditions. We have heard statements about the opposite, and this is not true.
On the whole, they are satisfied with the results of the negotiations, which confirmed the relevance of the format "2 + 2". I and Russian Defense Minister SK Shoigu invited our Egyptian colleagues to visit Moscow so that the next round of negotiations in the format "2 + 2" took place in the Russian capital.
Once again I express my gratitude for the hospitality.
Question (addressed to both ministers):Was the coordination of efforts to combat terrorism discussed today, especially given that it was only a few days after the terrible attack against the Copts in Egypt?
S. Lavrov (answers after S. Shukri):Russia supports initiatives that really contribute to the fight against the terrorist threat, help to stop all channels of feeding terrorists with money, weapons, and militants. These initiatives are aimed at eradicating the ideology of terrorism and extremism. This is exactly what the initiative of President of Russia Vladimir Putin, put forward by him at the 70 session of the UN General Assembly, on the formation of a genuinely universal, global anti-terrorist front, is aimed at. It is important that the initiatives in this direction be inclusive, inclusive, not built around an attempt to isolate someone, especially if these attempts are made in the context, frankly, of the contradictions that exist within Islam. I hope that we will all unite irrespective of minor things that are not related to the struggle against terror, and in this case we will achieve the result.
Question (addressed to both ministers):Recognized by the UN Libyan government recently blamed the self-proclaimed so-called. The government of national salvation in escalating violence in the country. These are the same armed groups that took part in the overthrow of M. Qaddafi in Libya in 2011 and were widely supported by Western countries. In a sense, it turns out that the explosive situation in Libya, which supplies terrorists not only to the region, but all over the world, as we see after the Manchester terrorist attack, is the result of the policies of some Western countries.
Question (addressed to Sergey V. Lavrov):Do you think that the responsibility for the consequences is borne by Western countries? Is it possible to talk about an effective fight against terrorism, when the main "players" often act in absolute discord?
S. Lavrov (answers after S. Shukri):Not so long ago, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair publicly acknowledged that the invasion of Iraq was based on a fictitious pretext that was used to mislead the world community about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I hope that one day the conscience will wake up and someone who has organized aggression against Libya in gross violation of international law, in violation of the relevant resolution of the UN Security Council, when the country was simply bombed, forcibly overthrown the regime, turned it into a "black hole" "," Passage yard "for terrorists, bandits, illegal arms dealers, illegal migrants. Now the consequences of this completely thoughtless and irresponsible policy begin to affect. We are far from gloating, trying to use the tragedies taking place in the region and in Europe, in order to declare that we were right and warned. But if we do not learn lessons from what happened, then each time we come across these double standards.
It is well known that, as it was said, the regime of M. Qaddafi was overthrown with the help of those who, in large part, came from European countries. These people released, in most cases, perfectly understanding where and why they are sent, then they were taken back. They once acquired citizenship and enjoyed all the rights of citizens of free democratic states, including the right to travel on business. They had specific business.
The calculations that attempts to flirt or meet the extremists, especially those that were in the limelight of security services, and proceed from the fact that one can show commitment to European principles and therefore not be the subject of terrorist manifestations has long been destroyed by dozens of terrorist acts in Europe. The same Great Britain, for example, stopped counter-terrorism cooperation with us for reasons not related to the fight against this evil.
I emphasize once again, we proceed from the fact that we need to drop everything that is secondary, everything that seems important to someone. Now there is nothing more important than to block the path of terrorism, its ideology. It can only be done together.
We all want to settle the Libyan crisis, but if we are now following Iraq and Libya to deal with the destruction of the Syrian state, this will mean that politicians and diplomats are "worthless" that no one learns elementary lessons from the colossal tragedies taking place in this region .
As we have already said, today we discussed practical issues of combating terrorism. We agreed to work in favor of ensuring that the anti-terrorist front becomes genuinely universal, without double standards, without attempts to exclude someone or do some geopolitical calculations on the antiterrorist struggle. -Russian Foreign Minister