January 31, 2002
On Talks Between Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov and Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mohamed Benaissa
On January 30, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov held talks with Mohamed Benaissa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, in Moscow for a working visit.
As Igor Ivanov noted at the start of the talks, we are satisfied with the fact that contacts between the two countries have intensified, and that relations are developing to mutual advantage and in common interests.
In the course of a detailed exchange of views on topical international and regional problems, the sides stated the identity or similarity of the positions of the two countries.
They emphasized readiness for joint action in shaping a multipolar world pattern based on the principles of international law and the sovereign equality of states, and pointed out the importance of enhancing the role of the UN in this process and the necessity to search for answers to the dangerous challenges with which the international community is confronted today, including terrorism, narco-threat, organized crime, and regional conflicts. The emphasis in the campaign for the eradication of such a world-wide evil as terrorism should be placed on political methods, the combining of efforts by all realistically thinking forces in the world community with a view to blocking the channels of financing for terrorism and eradicating the causes engendering it.
The Ministers voiced deep concern over the dangerous degradation of the situation in the Middle East, and noted the necessity to take concrete measures to end the violence, normalize the situation and resume the negotiation process in accordance with the Tenet-Mitchell scheme on the basis of the principles of the Madrid Conference and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. In this connection Igor Ivanov spoke for the adoption by the Palestinians and the Israelis of reciprocal measures to end the violence and work out a mutually acceptable platform for the resumption of political dialogue.
When discussing the situation around Iraq the Russian Minister underscored the need for a genuine settlement of the Iraqi problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Such a solution must envisage the restoration in Iraq of a system of international disarmament monitoring, closely tied to suspension and then lifting of sanctions, and so the real termination of the sufferings of the Iraqi people. From this vantage point the sides examined the course of the consultations on the Iraqi question now being held in the UN Security Council. The Ministers noted the importance of the adoption by the Security Council of a decision which would not lead to a worsening of the plight of the population of Iraq, an aggravation of the situation in the Persian Gulf zone and a crisis in the Middle East as a whole.
In the course of the talks the desire of the two countries for the further development of traditional friendly Russian-Moroccan relations was reiterated. The Ministers have agreed to broaden the range of bilateral political dialogue and coordination. They also discussed growth areas of cooperation in the trade-and-economic and other fields of mutual interest.
In the course of the meeting Mohamed Benaissa handed Igor Ivanov a personal message from King Muhammed VI of Morocco to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
January 30, 2002
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