Lavrov to discuss Iran, IS with Kerry, Saudi FM in Qatar

File photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with US Secretary of State John Kerry  [Image: Archives]

File photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with US Secretary of State John Kerry [Image: Archives]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is heading to Qatar on Sunday to meet the foreign ministers of US and Saudi Arabia, with battling the Islamic State and a nuclear deal with Iran topping the agenda of the talks.

Lavrov is on a two-day visit to Qatar and will meet Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

In Doha, Lavrov will hold trilateral talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.

The Russian Foreign Minister will also meet his Qatari counterpart Khalid Bin Mohammed al-Attiyah.

Talks in Qatar would take stock of progress since the Iran deal was signed and also discuss ways of strengthening the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Moscow and Washington are divided over approaches to battling the terrorist group.

The US military said on Saturday the United States-led anti-ISIL coalition has launched 19 air strikes in Iraq and 11 in Syria on Friday against Islamic State fighters.

Russia has criticized air strikes by a US-led coalition against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq, and encouraged Washington to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the battle against IS.

“We are helping both Iraq and Syria, possibly more effectively than anyone else, by providing weapons to their armies and security forces,” Lavrov said earlier in April.

Moscow has called the radical militant group the main threat to Russia’s security.

“Islamic State is our main enemy at the moment. If only because hundreds of Russian citizens, hundreds of Europeans, hundreds of Americans fight alongside IS,” Lavrov had said in an interview with three radio stations. “They are already coming back… and to enjoy themselves could stage vile acts at home.”

On Saturday, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said Lavrov will also discuss with Qatari leaders issues of peaceful settlement in Syria, Yemen and Libya, “with an emphasis on the task of consolidating the international community’s efforts in finding mutually acceptable solutions to their continuing acute military and political crises, including an effective coordinated fight against the universal terrorist threat represented by the Islamic State (IS) group, Al-Qaeda and similar extremist groups.”

The Russian-Qatari talks will largely focus on issue of strengthening stability in the Persian Gulf zone.

Moscow will reiterate its proposal of creating a collective security system for the region.

“Iran’s role and place in regional affairs after making a deal in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme between Iran and the six international mediators (five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany) will be considered in detail,” the ministry said.

Lavrov and his Qatari counterpart will also discuss preparations for the FIFA World Cup events, which Russia and Qatar will host respectively in 2018 and 2022.


TBP and Agencies

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