UAE Foreign Minister: We seek the containment of the Syrian crisis

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The United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister has said that Abu Dhabi seeks to discuss the containment of the Syrian crisis with Moscow during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to the emirate.

UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said there was “intention and desire” by Arab parties in seeing Syria return to the Arab world but added that much work was needed.

“There is no doubt that we have had disagreements with the Syrian government’s approach in the many steps it has taken internally. But we are now in front of developments where we see an increase in the influence of Russia and Iran while there is an Arab absence. We think that this Arab absence is unacceptable,” he told reporters during a joint press conference with Lavrov.

“For that reason, we have worked with our Russian brothers and others to discuss the containment of the crisis but to also contain Syria. When we say containment, we are talking about Syria being a part of the Arab region; being part of the Arab countries and efforts. Unfortunately, we are now seeing Syria far from that,” he added.

For his part, Lavrov said that Russia and the UAE shared common stances on ensuring regional stability and security.

“We also share stances on efforts to ensure stability in the region and we are confident that regional security cannot be achieved unless crises are overcome through diplomatic means based on international legitimacy,” Lavrov said.

The UAE Foreign Minister said that Abu Dhabi decided to open its embassy in Damascus to begin such steps but “this needs interaction from Damascus and the Arab parties.”

“We believe that we are still at the beginning of this march but this requires joint efforts from Damascus and Arab parties to work together. We are still far from this situation but I believe there is an intention, and a desire, but it still requires much work from different parties,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Lavrov was in Kuwait as part of a regional tour. He said that Saudi Arabia and Russia are working towards defeating terrorists in Syria.

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