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GCC-Russia pact ‘will help resolve Mideast crises’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens to his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir (R) during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. (REUTERS)
MOSCOW: Russia’s pact with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council will help solve the crises facing the Middle East, particular Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said here Thursday.
Al-Jubeir made the comments following a meeting between the GCC’s foreign ministers and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the fourth GCC-Russian strategic dialogue gathering.
At a press conference with Lavrov, Al-Jubeir said the GCC and Russia have enjoyed solid ties over the years and share common interests. He said Russia also respected the sovereignty of nations and was committing to international law.
Al-Jubeir said the meeting was fruitful and that there had been intense discussion on seeking a cease-fire in Syria and tackling extremist and terrorist groups. “We are working with Russia to confront the challenges facing the region.” He also praised Moscow for supporting the Palestinian cause.
Lavrov said that Russia, under the auspices of the UN Security Council, supports attempts to seek peace in the Middle East and North Africa. He said the discussions focused on Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq among others.
Lavrov said the Russian government supports Saudi Arabia’s formation of an Islamic alliance to tackle terrorism globally. He said Russia was seeking to consolidate agreements with Saudi Arabia in the oil and nuclear fields.
Thursday’s meeting comes as rebels in northern Syria reportedly continue to make slow progress in their campaign to evict Daesh from its stronghold in the Iraqi city of Raqqa.

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