Russia ready for joint work on rebuilding war-torn Syria, Iraq: Putin to Arab Summit

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Apr 2018

File Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the Federal Security Service (FSB) board in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the 29th Arab Summit in Riyadh on Sunday that his country is prepared to join forces with the Arab League to help rebuild war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq, stressing the importance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Arab nations, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

Putin sent his message in a letter to Arab leaders who gathered in the Saudi capital on Sunday.

“Russia is ready for multifaceted cooperation with the Arab League in order to ensure regional security,” the Russian president said.

Putin said defeating Daesh in many parts of Iraq and Syria provides an opening for “boosting political reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction in these countries, [and] solving pressing humanitarian issues.”

The Russian leader's message comes a day after joint missile strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, which is backed by Russia, by the US, France, and Britain, claiming the involvement of Bashar Al-Assad's forces in a chemical gas attack last week in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, which left at least 75 dead.

The Syrian government denied any involvement, blaming the incident on jihadist rebels under the direction of foreign intelligence agents.

In his letter on Sunday, the Russian president also said that lasting peace in the Middle East is impossible without first finding a "fundamental solution" to the Israel-Palestine issue.

“All issues relating to Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, must be dealt with during face-to-face talks between Palestine and Israel,” he said.

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that stirred huge controversy and caused tensions in the Palestinian territories.

The Arab Summit kicked off early on Sunday, with all 22 members of the Arab League meeting in Riyadh.

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