Senate speaker clarifies main goal of Moscow’s Middle Eastern policy
The main goal of Russia’s Middle Eastern policy is to assist regional countries in reaching sustainable development, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said addressing the Sixth Conference of the Valdai Discussion Forum’s Middle East Dialogue on Feb. 27.
According to her, Russia does not seek to dominate the region. "I would like to point out that Russia does not seek to dominate the Middle East as our main goal is to lead the region to a path towards sustainable development by ensuring mutual consent among parties to internal conflicts," the Russian senator said.
She added that the United Nations should play the leading role in settling conflicts in the Middle East. At the same time, Matviyenko said that Russia had always been and would always be combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
"We believe that in order to eliminate terrorism, a broad anti-terrorist front needs to be set up. We call upon the world community to put political controversies aside and turn to establishing a broad inter-parliamentary and inter-state cooperation in the war against international terrorism," she said.
Matviyenko pointed to the important role of inter-parliamentary cooperation in solving conflicts. "Members of the Federation Council use every opportunity and their international contacts to help restore peace in the region. We will not omit the Middle East issues during the 137th session of the Inter-parliamentary Union scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg in October," the Federation Council Speaker said.
She added that the Russian senators had come up with an initiative to set up video conferences in order to facilitate inter-parliamentary cooperation between Russia, European states, Syria, Turkey, Iran and other countries. "The first video conference between Moscow, Damascus and Astana was held on February 16. The discussion was broadcast live. We hope to carry on with this initiative and engage other countries, thus providing the world community with yet another chance to achieve fact-based information," Matvyenko concluded.