The situation in Syria, the upcoming E3+3 negotiations with Iran and some regional issues including Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria, have been the focus of today’s meeting between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the framework of the regular EU-Russia Political Dialogue. A statement issued by Catherine Ashton described the meeting as “an open and constructive exchange of views.”
As regards Syria, Ashton and Lavrov gave full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Representative Brahimi. “The EU is encouraged by the recent initiative by the coalition leader Sheik Moaz Al Khatib for a political dialogue and hopes that representatives of Syrian regime do not miss this opportunity to help end the violence,” the statement said.
Ahead of the next round of the E3+3 negotiations with Iran on 26 February in Kazakhstan, Ashton and Lavrov voiced hope that substantial progress would be achieved. “We remain determined to work towards a solution of the Iranian nuclear issue and the key is for Iran to comply fully with its international obligations,” said Ashton.
With regard to the Middle East Peace Process, Catherine Ashton stressed “the urgent need for renewed, structured and substantial peace efforts in 2013 which will require work with all international partners, including through the Quartet.”
EU-Russia bilateral relations were also on the agenda of the meeting. “Russia is a key strategic partner for the EU,” the statement said, “and the new Agreement would bring a fresh momentum in the relationship.”
Source: EU Neighbourhood Info
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