‘Russia does not want to act against Saudi interests’

Updated 06 October 2017
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‘Russia does not want to act against Saudi interests’

MOSCOW: Russia and Saudi Arabia are not necessarily at odds over key regional issues, even when it comes to policy regarding Iran and Qatar, a senior Moscow diplomat has told Arab News.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian Parliament, said it was “completely wrong” to claim that his country is “pro-Iranian” or “pro-Qatari” — despite the belief held by some that Moscow and Riyadh do not see eye-to-eye on such contentious issues.
Kosachev was speaking on the occasion of an official visit made by King Salman to Russia, the first such trip made by a sitting Saudi monarch.
When asked about Russia and Saudi Arabia’s apparently opposing stances on key aspects of foreign policy, Kosachev said there was not necessarily a contradiction.
“Our partners in Riyadh should understand that Russia definitely does not want to act against Saudi interests,” he said.
“I would not call our positions on Iranian and Qatari topics opposite ones. It is completely wrong to call Russian foreign policy ‘pro-Iranian’ or ‘pro-Qatari’. Or, say, ‘pro-Turkish’ or ‘pro-Israeli’.
“Iran was always a complicated partner for us, but the difficulties made us appreciate the achievements on many issues – from (the) Iranian nuclear program deal to participation of Tehran in Astana talks together with our country and Turkey. All three states are very different, have (a) complicated history of relations with each other. Nevertheless, understanding of the necessity to resolve common tasks brought them to the understanding that mutual cooperation is inevitable.
 
“This makes us optimistic regarding relations with other countries of the region, and Saudi Arabia takes a special place among them. Yes, we have different views on some processes in the Middle East, but I am sure that we will manage to reach agreement on the majority of the actual issues if both sides are willing to do it.”
Kosachev said Saudi Arabia’s involvement was “essential” in resolving Middle Eastern disputes.
“Our relations should be upgraded and we believe that now we have a positive background for that. We need Riyadh to understand our intentions and interests, in the Middle East as well, because they do not essentially contradict the interests of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
King Salman’s visit to Russia opens up the possibility of progress in topics relating to the Syrian conflict, Kosachev said.
“We would like to have progress on the package of topics of security and counterterrorism, which is tightly connected to Syrian settlement. Both countries have supported the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria in order to strengthen the cease-fire regime and to resolve the humanitarian problems. We see and appreciate the efforts made by Saudi partners to unite different groups of opposition … for Geneva talks.”


Saudi Arabia hosts International Atomic Energy Agency representatives

Updated 17 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia hosts International Atomic Energy Agency representatives

  • The aim of this international organization is to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the world

JEDDAH: The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) is hosting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) representatives who arrived in the Kingdom to carry out an integrated nuclear infrastructure review (INIR).
The IAEA team will stay in the Kingdom until July 24. This review is an important reference on which the IAEA bases its assessment of the efforts being exerted by the Kingdom in developing the infrastructure to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The review also ensures that the national atomic energy project is harmonized with the requirements of the IAEA. Based on the review, the IAEA lends its support to the project.
The INIR is seen as a service being provided by the atomic agency to the member states to conduct an integrated and comprehensive assessment in the presence of international experts in nuclear energy programs and infrastructure development.
The aim of this international organization is to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the world. It takes measures to prevent any country from using atomic energy for military purposes and for nuclear weapons.