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Russia’s Valdai Club Holds 13th Middle East Conference

The 13th Middle East Conference of the Valdai Club and the Russian Academy of Sciences was held Feb. 13-14 in Moscow, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivering the keynote address to an audience of some 50 experts from 16 countries. Among the topics on the agenda were discussing “paths to a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, the legacy of colonial policy and its echoes in the Middle East … and economic cooperation in the region.”

Lavrov was very blunt about the prospects for the region. “Missile strikes are delivered beyond Palestinian territories, on Syria, Iraq. American bases in Syria, Iraq, Jordan come under shelling. The situation in the Red Sea has worsened dramatically, as has the situation around Yemen, which has become a target for illegitimate and aggressive strikes by U.S. and British aircraft. It looks like this regional situation has not yet hit the bottom, regrettably….

“We have repeatedly warned that the chronic, decades-long unsettled Palestinian problem, the inability to establish of a full-fledged, viable Palestinian state in conformity with the United Nations resolutions is a main factor that will generate instability and violence in the Middle East,” he added.

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