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PRESS TOP 5: Friday, September 30Press Review September 30, 13:00
SOCHI, February 8. /TASS/. Russia and Bahrain come out in favor of peaceful settlement of all conflicts in the Middle East region and assert people’s right to decide their own destiny, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after summit talks of President Vladimir Putin and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"The heads of state discussed cooperation on international affairs, on regional issues and discussed the situation unfolding in the Middle East and in the north of Africa," the minister said.
The diplomat said the common stance of the two countries was that "first of all priorities for the world community must be determined, namely irreconcilable fight against terrorism, peaceful settlement of conflict situations, inadmissibility of actions that leads to disintegration of states".
With this in view, the two leaders exchanged opinions on developments in Syria, Lavrov said.
He said the sides "confirmed our common support for action of the international community on the basis of full and strict implementation of resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council, including within the context of a need to maintain an inclusive inter-Syrian dialog aimed at seeing that the Syrian people themselves decide the fate of their country".
"We will be offering such support through the International Syria Support Group that will meet for a next session in Munich on February 11," he said.
Lavrov said Russia and Bahrain "want to see Syria a stable country in which the foundations of a secular state are fixed, the country which ensures its territorial integrity, the country in which the rights of all without exception citizens are guaranteed".
"These are the principles that we see underlining for the settlement of other conflicts in the region: those in Libya and Yemen, as well as the situation around Iraq, Afghanistan". "We pay particular attention to a need to boost effort of the global community towards contribution to the Palestinian-Israeli settlement on a just international basis," he said.
"We proceed from the fact that the peoples must themselves choose their destiny, while support and assistance from the international community must be precise, adequate and must fully take into account traditions and history of that rich region," the foreign minister said.
According to Lavrov, Russia and Bahrain are set to develop cooperation in all spheres.
"The meeting was warm and friendly. It passed in the atmosphere of trust," Lavrov said adding that the conversation dwelt on all areas of bilateral cooperation.
"The leaders of Russia and Bahrain intend to develop cooperation in all spheres. The past few years have been marked by an intensive political dialogue. There is live interest in establishing inter-parliamentary contacts. The sides have shown increased attention to developing trade and economic cooperation," the Russian foreign minister went on to say.
"The development of trade and economic ties in areas like energy and infrastructure will undoubtedly contribute to the creation of an inter-governmental commission for trade and economic cooperation," Lavrov said adding that an agreement in principle had been reach, and the two countries were finalizing relevant documents.
According to Lavrov, the business circles are not waiting for any formal decision. "Investment cooperation has been most intensive. Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund has invested 250 million U.S. dollars in the Russian Direct Investment Fund," Lavrov said.
He said that up to 2 projects worth billions of rubles had either got under way or would soon be launched. "Both sides are showing live interest in gas cooperation. [Russian gas monopoly] Gazprom and its Bahraini partners are holding meaningful discussions of concrete projects," the Russian foreign minister went on to say.
Lavrov also mentioned the work of the Russian-Bahraini Business Council. He added that Russian and Bahraini businessmen regularly met each other - in Bahrain and in Russia.
"Military-technological cooperation assumed new measurements this year. An inter-governmental commission, which has a package of concrete proposals representing reciprocal interests, has been set up," the Russian foreign minister said.
"We hope we will also be able to strike fruitful military contacts. We have invited representatives of the Bahraini Armed Forces to our games called Air Darts and Tank biathlon," Lavrov said.
Russia and Bahrain have pledged to join actions in the election of the FIFA president. According to Lavrov, the King of Bahrain has actively supported the idea of holding the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
According to VEB bank's CEO Vladimir Dmitriev, Russia is ready to start supplying food products to Bahrein.
"The Russian part [of the Russian-Bahraini Business Council] includes representatives of real business, individual companies, associations, such as the Support of Russia, which opens up opportunities for export of Russian products to Bahrain. First of all, in addition to our traditional areas of our cooperation, it concerns supplies of Russian foods to Bahrain," he said.
Dmitriev said that the head of Bahrain’s Chamber of Commerce has taken the certification of Russian foods under personal control
"It concerns supplies of beef, grain, poultry in volumes sufficient for consumption both in Bahrain and neighboring countries," Dmitriev said.
He added that it concerns the Evrodom and Mirotorg companies. VEB finances the projects of these companies.
Dmitriev also said that Russia and Bahrain had reached understanding on expansion of cooperation in high technology, communications, supercomputing, remote medical diagnosis and others, which are being developed in Bahrain. The projects in these areas can be implemented via supplies of Russian equipment to Bahrain, he said.
He added that all this can be attractive for the Russian small and medium businesses in terms of creation of joint ventures and new jobs.
Dmitriev said it was difficult to him to estimate the amount of possible deals. He said that currently certification in the relevant areas is under way.
"The contracts are yet to be signed, so it would be premature to name any figures, but I emphasize once again, it concerns high-quality products," he said.