Welcome speech of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed to participants at the 11th Annual Session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”

I cordially welcome participants to another session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”.

The Forum has earned well-deserved recognition due to its active contribution to awareness of prevailing trends in global development. Such work is of special importance at the current transitional stage in international affairs, when the risks of deepening of intercivilisational, intercultural and interreligious splits grow. All members of the international community feel the consequences of this.

The region of the Middle East and North Africa, which has been caught up in turbulence, remains a priority on the international agenda. Russia supports the legal aspirations of the Arab people to a better life, it advocates implementation through a nation-wide dialogue, allowing the interests of all ethnic, religious and social components of these societies to be taken into consideration.

The task of external players is to help the Arab countries follow this path in a decent manner, without imposing upon them their own scale of values and by contributing to political settlement of conflict situations on a firm ground of international law as much as possible. Any actions disrupting the UN Charter, including forceful actions without the sanction of the Security Council will only distance the prospects of peaceful settlement in Syria and in any other places.

Today we have no reasonable alternative to a coordinated response of the international community to global and regional challenges within the framework of the general “rules of the game”, with due consideration for the interests and concerns ofits participants – no country can achieve these results alone or with a narrow group of countries. Russia will continue to draw this line in international affairs, contributing to the strengthening of collective bases for the resolution of key problems of modern times as much as possible. We are open to interaction with all our partners on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

I wish you successful work and all the best.

SERGEY LAVROV

Moscow, 3 October 2013

Click here to read the Welcome Speech in Russian