28 December 2012, 13:33

Russia, Egypt to step up cooperation

Russia, Egypt to step up cooperation

Russia and Egypt have reached agreement on stepping up cooperation. This came in a statement by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, following his talks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, according to the Voice of Russia correspondent.

The parties to the meeting took up moves to speedily resume the work of the intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

An agreement was reached on stepping up cooperation in the field of military technologies and terrorism fighting.

Lavrov voiced hope that Egypt would continue advancing along the path of democratic development and implementing socio-economic reforms in the interests of the entire population.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister said for his part that Russians account for a majority of foreign tourists coming to Egypt, and offered assurances of their absolute safety.

Moscow hopes Egypt will continue democratic development

Moscow welcomes the adoption of Egypt’s new constitution and hopes that the Arab country will continue advancing along the path of democratic development. 

Lavrov voiced hope that Egypt will carry out socio-economic reforms in the interests of all population layers.

This is specifically important for boosting bilateral cooperation in all areas that we relish, he said.

According to him, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has offered assurances that Cairo will guarantee Russian tourists security and comfortable stay in Egypt.

"Peoples of Syria have a right to choose their own future" - Lavrov

A Syria meeting between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohammed Kamel Amra, has kicked off in Moscow, Voice of Russia’s correspondent reports.

“We share the viewpoint that the peoples of Syria have a right to choose their own future path through a nation-wide dialogue without any foreign intervention,” the Russian foreign chief said.

“We are strongly against tackling these tasks by the means of invasion,” he added.

Mohammed Amra agreed that an invasion wasn’t the way out of the crisis. “The Syrian peace settlement should be based on the principles of territorial integrity and a unity between all peoples of Syria, regardless of their ethnic origin or religion,” he said.

Sergei Lavrov told journalists there had been an opinion exchange on Syria. In this situation, an ultimate priority would be a ceasefire to save the lives of the innocent, he stressed.

The Russian foreign minister also pointed out that President Assad’s regime had to show its readiness for a dialogue with the Syrian opposition.

Mr. Lavrov also said the Russian government was open to talks with the Syrian Opposition Coalition but condemned the opposition’s intent to topple Assad’s regime instead of taking the issue to the negotiating table.

“We’ve already established contacts with the Coalition’s leadership through our Cairo embassy,” Lavrov told his Egyptian opposite number.”We have declared ourselves ready to meet their chairman, Mr. Mouaz al-Khatib… We understand they have no reason to reject this offer,” he said.

He said he hoped that the turmoil in the country would eventually force some of the most “sensible” opposition activists to seek dialogue with the Syrian authorities.

Egyptian foreign chief Mohammed Kamel Amra told Mr. Lavrov the current Syrian leadership had no future in Syria. He added a “transitional period” was needed in order to overcome the Syrian crisis.

A transitional government must be set up to act as a mediator between the warring parties and secure a smooth transition, Mr. Amra underscored. He also rejected the idea of a military intervention in the country and urged to put an end to bloodshed.

Voice of Russia

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