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PRESS RELEASE
Visit to Tunisia of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov

2498-24-11-2005

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov stayed in the Republic of Tunisia on November 23-24 as part of his working trip to a number of North African countries. In the course of his conversation with Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali he conveyed to him a message from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Talks were held with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelwahab Abdallah.

A thorough exchange of views on pressing international and regional problems of mutual concern took place, which stated the identity or similarity of the positions of the two countries. A broad range of questions of Russian-Tunisian cooperation in various fields was discussed. There was affirmed the commonality of the two countries' approaches to the problem of countering the new challenges and threats of today. There was emphasized on both sides the importance of developing an extensive interfaith and intercivilization dialogue, aimed at, among other things, elaborating a complex of political, economic and social measures to eradicate the causes engendering terrorism and extremism.

There was expressed the unanimous view that attaining a durable peace in the Middle East is only possible through a consistent implementation of the Road Map as the international legal basis for the peace process in the region and via strictly following the line on creating a sovereign democratic Palestinian state while simultaneously ensuring the security and peaceful coexistence of Israel with Arab countries within internationally recognized borders.

The sides pointed out the necessity to exert consistent efforts for preventing the origination of new hotbeds of tension in the region.

An exchange of views on developments in Iraq, in the Mediterranean area, in the Maghreb and in Africa also took place. The Russian side expressed satisfaction with the successful holding in Tunis of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society.

The full spectrum of Russian-Tunisian cooperation was comprehensively examined. There was affirmed the consistent intention to deepen further the political dialogue and interaction at various levels, to improve bilateral ties, to use for these purposes the already available experience and potential of cooperation and to search for new ways and forms of building it up, including collaboration in the economic and investment fields.

As part of the visit, an Agreement on Cooperation Between the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic Institute for Training and Studies of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was signed.

November 24, 2005

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