On April 15, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready to cooperate with the Arab League to stabilize the Middle East and to help to restore Syria and Iraq after the defeat of ISIS.
“Russia is prepared to develop cooperation with the Arab League in order to ensure regional stability. I hope that in the wake of the defeat of the main forces of ISIL [ISIS] in Syria and Iraq, we will be able together to contribute to intensifying the political settlement and post-conflict reconstruction processes in those countries and tackling pressing humanitarian issues,” Putin said in his message of greetings to the participants of the Arab League meeting, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
According to local experts, the cooperation between Russia and Arab countries, mainly Egypt and Saudi Arabia, had boosted the peace process in Syria. Saudi Arabia and Egypt played a key role in success of the Syrian National Dialogue Conference [held in the Russian city of Sochi in January 2018] by encouraging the Syrian opposition to participate in it.
The Russian President also stressed in his message that the stabilizatino of the Middle East is impossible without solving the Palestinian crisis. Putin said that direct dialog between the Palestinians and Israelis within the international law is the only way to solve this crisis, including the issue of the Jerusalem city status.
“All issues related to the status of the Palestinian territories, including the Jerusalem problem, need to be tackled through direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on a generally recognized international legal basis” Putin said.
Russia has offered to host direct Palestinian-Israeli talks on several occasion previously in an attempt to restart the peace process after it was hindered by US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize of Jerusalem as Israeli’s capital. Observers believe that a joint Russian-Arab effort could restart the process.
Nineteen Arab countries attended the Arab League summit in the Saudi city of Dhahran on April 15. The Palestinian crisis, fighting terrorism and the situation in Syria were the main three issues that were discussed by the Arab League members.