Sergey Lavrov: Russia and WJC have common priorities
20.05.2013, Communities of Eurasia
Message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia to participants of the 14th World Jewish Congress General Assembly
I am pleased to welcome the participants of the 14th World Jewish Congress General Assembly.
For centuries, the Jewish community in our country has been making a significant contribution to strengthening of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation, as well as consolidation of the centuries-old friendship between peoples. Its recent life has been full of remarkable events, such as the establishment of new religious, educational and cultural centers, the opening of museums and exhibitions, and the expansions of international humanitarian contacts. Russian government s efforts are focused on the protection of the rights of all ethnic and religious communities, so that their representatives feel completely comfortable.
Russia has consistently opposed xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and religious intolerance, and favored the concerted efforts by all responsible members of international dialogue in order to counter manifestations of neo-Nazism, aggressive nationalism and extremism in society. All these tasks are among the WJC priorities, and thus promote our cooperation.
Your current forum is being held in a difficult period when transformation processes in the Middle East and North Africa are far from being over. A lot needs to be done by the States of the region to appropriately address the serious and multifaceted challenges in order to overcome the current difficulties and embark on the course of democratic development and sustainable prosperity.
This is precisely what Russia is interested in.
We hope the transformations in the region will ensure a better and dignified life for its peoples, will provide an opportunity to carry out the necessary social, economic and political reforms.
We believe that it will facilitate further strengthening of traditionally friendly relations between these countries and Russia built on a solid foundation of positive feelings towards one another.
At the same time, it is obvious that the region is overloaded by the challenges in politico-military, energy, intercivilizational and other spheres.
Situation in the Middle East has been long poisoned by the unsettled conflicts and by the Arab-Israel conflict in the first place.
We are ready, together with other responsible members of the international community, to promote their political and diplomatic settlement, make our contribution to strengthening global security and stability, creating a climate of trust and mutual understanding in international relations as well as to cementing their moral foundation.
It is only through joint efforts that it will possible to find collective and generally accepted solutions to the contemporary challenges that we all face.
Russia is open to a broad international cooperation and to increased contacts with all those who share the same attitude, on the basis of equal rights and mutual interests.
I wish you the very best and every success in your future endeavors.