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Russia welcomes Iran nonaggression initiative with Gulf

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Iran's non-aggression initiative can become step to detente

Elena Teslova   | 27.05.2019
Russia welcomes Iran nonaggression initiative with Gulf

MOSCOW

Russia hailed on Monday an Iranian initiative to conclude a non-aggression pact with the Persian Gulf countries. 

This step can ease tensions in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, speaking at a news conference in Moscow, following the meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

"To agree not to attack each other is the first step to defuse the tension. We would consider such an agreement to be beneficial," Lavrov said.

He cited a previous Russian offer to Arab countries to help work out a security conception, suggesting transparency in military affairs, joint military exercises and other confidence-building measures among Arab countries, the UN, EU and five permanent members of the UN security Council as guarantors.

"So far, there is no common position among the Arabs on this matter," he added.

Commenting the deployment of the 1,500 U.S. troops in the Middle East, Lavrov said: "Any growth of military potential will lead to the new risks."

On May 26, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif proposed a non-aggression pact with Gulf Arab states during his visit to Baghdad.

The move came amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran since Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations including the five permanent UN Security Council members as well as Germany.

Lavrov also added that he hoped talks in Norway would result in achieving of a generally acceptable solution to the current dispute in Venezuela.

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