Russian foreign policy
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     18.07.2003

     

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov Pays a Working Visit to Egypt

On July 17 Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov on the final leg of his Middle East tour made a working visit to Egypt where he had a meeting with ARE President Hosni Mubarak and held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Maher.

During the conversations, which passed in the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding traditional for the relations of the two countries, an extensive range of international and regional issues was considered, focusing mainly on a discussion of the situation in the Middle East that showed a high degree of similarity in approaches between the two countries. Ivanov shared with the Egyptian leadership his impressions and evaluations following his talks in Ramallah, Amman, Damascus and Beirut. The President of Egypt welcomed the active role of Russia in the affairs of the Middle Eastern region, including within the framework of the Quartet of international mediators.

Both sides stated with satisfaction the commencement of the implementation of the provisions of the Road Map plan for Arab-Israeli settlement. Ivanov gave a high assessment to the role of Egypt in reaching the cease-fire agreement and in providing support for the government of Mahmoud Abbas, in particular, his efforts for the re-creation of Palestinian security structures.

Igor Ivanov and Ahmed Maher were unanimous in the view that the further advance of the peace process in the region has to proceed with the effective cooperation of the international community and leading regional states, inter alia by monitoring the implementation of the reached agreements on the part of the Quartet composed of Russia, the US, EU and UN. The ministers also expressed their belief in the need for negotiating dynamics to be restarted on the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks, which is an important condition of the imparting of a comprehensive character to the process of Arab-Israeli settlement. There was underscored the intention of Russia and Egypt to continue their close coordination at the present, very crucial stage in this process.

During discussion of the situation in Iraq, the common opinion was expressed about the need to have it resolved on the basis of international law and respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country. There was noted the importance of expanding UN participation in this process. The sides spoke out for the earliest possible formation in Iraq of a legitimate national leadership capable of taking the destiny of the country into their hands and getting down to the solution of the vital questions of its postwar reconstruction.

In the exchange of views on issues in relations between Russia and Egypt the sides expressed their satisfaction with the state of the confidential political dialogue and the dynamic evolution of mutually beneficial ties in various fields. Substantively the sides examined ways to further intensify bilateral cooperation, including contacts at a high political level.

The ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Russia and Egypt on the question of visa-free trips on diplomatic, service and special passports.

Ivanov invited Ahmed Maher to visit Russia at a time convenient for him. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The date of the visit will be additionally fixed.

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