Russia is a key political and economic partner in the endeavours to realise the comprehensive development of the Middle East and support its stability, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said during the opening speech of the 4th session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Abu Dhabi, which he presided over yesterday.
Sheikh Abdullah also emphasised the importance of strengthening joint Arab-Russian cooperation and taking it to a new level of building a true and meaningful partnership.
In his speech, Sheikh Abdullah also referred to Iran’s adoption of a sectarian approach and its support of terrorist and extremist groups, while endangering stability in the Arab world by interfering in its affairs He opened his speech by welcoming Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign minister, Ahmed Abul Al Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, Arab Foreign Ministers and other delegates attending the Forum.
Sheikh Abdullah also praised the growing Arab-Russian cooperation, saying trade between the two sides rose to about US$ 15 billion.
“Still, such cooperation remains below our ambitions, given the huge potentials Arab countries and Russia have, particularly in the areas of agriculture, industry, tourism, energy, renewable energy, transport, telecommunications, environment and technology transfer,” he added.
He called for further efforts by business and industrial sectors to explore more opportunities for joint investments that are protected by advanced and flexible legislations to allow smooth flow of capitals, and to address obstacles relating to customs and taxes.
“our region and the whole world endured several crises and conflicts during this decade. That led to the emergence of new and gruesome forms of terrorism and extremism, which wreaked havoc on Arab states and squandered opportunities for development,” he said.