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Russian foreign minister to address Middle East conference


Russian foreign minister to address Middle East conference

lavrov middle east
Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/ Anadolu Agency

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will today address the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank and discussion forum, as part of its 10th Middle East Conference.

The 90-minute session, focusing on “Russia in the Middle East”, is part of the two-day conference covering geopolitics and society in the Middle East. The session will be broadcasted openly to media and audience members for the first time. Lavrov’s address comes just weeks after a lengthy Gulf tour and a two-day meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

Russia has sought to capitalise on diplomatic and political tensions arising between Gulf states and the US in a bid to shore up its own interests in the region. Lavrov will likely pivot away from conference discussions on Arab ideology and society and instead focus on the shift in US foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Expect Lavrov to echo previous sentiments regarding Russia’s support for natural resource stability among OPEC countries and for the revitalisation of the Iran nuclear deal. The session will likely reflect on Lavrov’s recent talks with Gulf states around China’s and Russia’s intent to increase military and economic aid, particularly as US President Joe Biden re-thinks engagement with the region.

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