Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on efforts to stabilize the situation in the Middle East and North Africa

November 27, 2019

  Bishkek City

The Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization express concern about the continuing tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, which remain a source of threats to the security of the CSTO member states, including in the form of the spread of terrorism and radical ideology.

They call for the settlement of conflicts exclusively by peaceful means through dialogue based on the principles and norms of international law, the fundamental role of the UN.

Ministers reaffirm support for the creation of an independent, viable and fully sovereignty Palestinian state within the borders of 1967 with the capital in East Jerusalem. They call on all parties involved to avoid actions that undermine the prospects of a two-state solution. They emphasize the need for an early resumption of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in order to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement on an existing international legal basis, including relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Ministers express their support for international efforts, primarily within the framework of the Astana format, aimed at ensuring stability and security in Syria on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

They point out the need to continue the fight against terrorism in Syria, as well as to take measures to prevent its sponsorship in order to finally eliminate ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and all other terrorist organizations that are recognized as such by the UN Security Council.

They welcome the launch of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, which is an important step in advancing the political process led and carried out by the Syrians themselves with the assistance of the United Nations, contributing, inter alia, to the establishment of a broad inter-Syrian dialogue on national reconciliation, including representatives of all ethnic and religious groups of Syrian society.

Ministers express concern over the persistence of hotbeds of tension in Syria and continue to closely monitor the development of the situation. They note that the achievement of long-term stability in the Syrian Arab Republic, including in the north-east of the country, is possible only on the basis of respect and full restoration of the sovereignty, territorial integrity of the state and ensuring the security of the civilian population representing the various ethnic and religious communities of the country.

Stressing the importance of humanitarian actions of the Russian Federation and the humanitarian mission of the Republic of Armenia in Syria, they call on the international community to intensify efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilian population, as well as to assist in the post-conflict reconstruction of the country, including through the reconstruction of socio-economic infrastructure, water and electricity , schools and hospitals. They note the importance of facilitating the process of the voluntary return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to places of permanent residence.

Ministers express their commitment to the principles of international law and UN SC resolutions 242 and 497 regarding the Syrian Golan Heights.

Ministers reaffirm their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, the principle of nonintervention in its internal affairs. They emphasize the inevitability of a political settlement of the intra-Libyan conflict through dialogue with the participation and under the leadership of the Libyans themselves. They express their support for the mediation efforts of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Libya, G. Salame, in accordance with his mandate, approved by the UN Security Council, to promote national reconciliation with the ultimate goal of establishing unified state institutions capable of effectively addressing their challenges, including the fight against terrorism and extremist ideology.

Ministers welcome the Stockholm agreement to normalize the situation in Yemen, concluded in Sweden in December 2018, and call for its full practical implementation as the first and necessary step towards the resumption of the process of political settlement in order to establish a lasting peace. Support the relevant efforts of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Yemen M. Griffiths.

Ministers reaffirm their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. They emphasize the importance of nonintervention in its internal affairs. They call on the international community to provide full support to Iraq in continuing its struggle against the remains of ISIL and other terrorist groups until their complete destruction. The efforts made by the Iraq Government to preserve the unity of the Iraq people and achieve national reconciliation are highly appreciated. They support the efforts of the Iraq government to restore areas of the country freed from terrorist groups.

Ministers express support for the efforts of the Sudanese transitional government to achieve peace, security, stability, national consent, comprehensive democratic transformations, equitable socio-economic development and the improvement of state institutions.

The ministers are concerned about the aggravation of the situation in the Persian Gulf region, fraught with the appearance of a large-scale military clash with the most negative consequences for all the countries involved, regional and international security.

They express concern over the decision of the United States to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCAP) and advocate its further systematic implementation based on the commitment of all parties involved to the commitments undertaken and subject to a carefully coordinated balance of interests that underlie comprehensive agreements. They support efforts aimed at de-escalation around the JCAP and express their firm intention to render them effective assistance in accordance with UN SC 2231.

They urge all parties to exercise restraint and take steps to reduce tension and restore confidence. They note the significant positive potential of the Russian Concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf.

They emphasize the importance of establishing a dialogue between all states of the Middle East and North Africa on the basis of the principles of good neighborliness, non-use of force, non-interference in internal affairs, respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, settlement of all disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.



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