The Arab-Israeli conflict dominated discussions at the Arab-Russian Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco, over Dec. 19-20. The foreign ministers forum on Dec. 20 issued a Joint Declaration, in which they “Emphasize that peace and regional stability will only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation and giving the Palestinian people their full rights. Call for the convening of an international peace conference, as soon as possible, from which a credible peace process will be launched on the basis of international law, international legitimacy resolutions, the principle of land for peace, and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, with all its elements and priorities, within a specified time frame and with international guarantees, leading to an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and the rest of the occupied Lebanese territories, and personifying the independence of the fully sovereign independent State of Palestine along the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and restoring the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, and the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 194 (1948), and support the State of Palestine in obtaining full membership in the United Nations.”
They further “Urge an intensification of international diplomatic efforts in this regard through establishment of multilateral mediation format with a leading role of the countries of the Middle East, the League of Arab States and the organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
The Declaration also “Reaffirm support for all efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons without prejudice to the inalienable right of State parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to exploit peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Call upon Israel, and other non-adherent States, to rapidly accede to the treaty as non-nuclear States, in addition to emphasize support for all efforts aimed at achieving the ultimate goal of a world free of all weapons of mass destruction.”
More broadly the foreign ministers included a section on “Sustainable Development” which “Commend the increase of economic cooperation between the League of Arab States Member States and the Russian Federation. Enhance bilateral trade and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of industry, agriculture, food security, water resources, banking and finance, oil and gas, renewable and clean energy, as well as peaceful use of nuclear energy, transport, tourism, communications, and intellectual property rights, in addition to cooperation in various areas, such as environment, technology transfer and etc.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov co-chaired a session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum and, on the sidelines, held talks with his Moroccan and Egyptian Foreign Ministers Nasser Bourita and Sameh Shoukry. Then he paid a working visit to Morocco’s Marrakesh. Afterwards, he traveled to Tunisia today where he met with Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar and was scheduled to hold a number of bilateral meetings.