Russia’s Lavrov to address Arab League on July 24

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Russia’s top diplomat will address the Arab League at its Cairo headquarters Sunday, the organization said, days after Russia took part in a summit hosted by Iran, a regional rival of some Arab states.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia will meet Arab League head Ahmed Aboul Gheit and representatives of the 22 nations that make up the pan-Arab bloc, it said on Thursday.

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On Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hosted a summit that was attended by his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The meeting was nominally about conflict-ridden Syria, where Iran and Russia back the government while Turkey supports anti-regime groups.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February, and the impact of the conflict on the global economy was also at the center of talks in Tehran.

On Tuesday, Putin said “progress” had been made in discussions towards exporting grain from Turkey, adding after talks with Erdogan and Raisi that any deal hinged on the West’s willingness to yield some ground.

NATO member Turkey has been using its good relations with both the Kremlin and Kyiv to try to broker an agreement on a safe way to deliver the grain.

The war in Ukraine has caused food insecurity in Arab nations, many of which are heavily dependent on wheat imports from the former Soviet state.

The Tehran summit came days after US President Joe Biden toured the Middle East, where he visited Israel, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia.

In Jerusalem, Biden and Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced a new security pact which commits Washington to never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

And in Saudi Arabia, he stressed that the US “will not walk away and leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran.”

Some Arab countries, namely Sunni-ruled ones, have tense ties with Iran which they accuse of involvement in many regional conflicts, including the wars in Syria.

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