Russia will meet with foreign ministers of Arab states to discuss the Syria crisis in Cairo on March 10, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
“I especially value today’s chance to prepare for a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and the Arab League states that will be held in Cairo on March 10,” AFP quoted Lavrov as saying after talks with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.
Lavrov’s announcement came a week after the foreign minister of Kuwait said a meeting had been scheduled for Wednesday between Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
That meet was supposed to have been planned for Riyadh and Lavrov afforded no explanation for the apparent discrepancy.
The talks come amid growing fury in the region at Russia’s refusal to condemn its Soviet-era ally after nearly a year of violence that the opposition says has claimed more than 7,600 lives.
“Considering the urgency of the Syria issue, when collective approaches for a settlement need to be found, we view this as a valuable and important format,” Lavrov said, the Cairo meeting.
Moscow along with Beijing has twice wielded its Security Council veto to block U.N. action on the crisis in Syria, first in October last year and again in February.
Lavrov’s talk with Judeh came one day after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged Moscow to “advise” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to stop its deadly crackdown against dissent.