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Diplomacy
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during an informational and contact-building visit with the Diplomatic Corps on 27. June 2023 in Essen

by Frank-Walter Steinmeier

I am delighted to be back in the Land in which I was born and grew up, North Rhine-Westphalia. And I am even happier that so many of you have accompanied me here from Berlin and Bonn. I don’t exactly know whether this is a new record, but 170 participants in our joint trip to explore one of the federal states together is really quite a lot. Minister President, thank you very much indeed for the hospitality extended to us here in this, to my mind, wonderful place, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex. North Rhine-Westphalia, as you have just heard, is indeed the most populous Land in Germany. And over the past few years and decades, or I could say over the last century and a half, it has become a real melting pot for people from a wide range of nations. Many people from a very large number of regions of the world have come together here –  thanks in the main to that part of North Rhine-Westphalia which is the focus of our trip today. For a long time, the Ruhr District was the beating heart of heavy industry, a region forged by coal and steel. Four and a half years ago, in December 2018, I was there when the last coal mine here in the Ruhr District was closed. That was one of the hardest speeches I have ever had to make in any of the positions I’ve held – to stand in front of crying miners and say to them: this piece of coal in my hands is the last piece of coal mined in Germany. It was – and everyone knew it was – the end of an era in Germany and especially here in the Ruhr District. It was not just the end of a chapter of industrial history. The hard work, and especially the work below ground, profoundly shaped the people in this region for years and decades. For these people, the crucial thing is being able to rely on each other, and that a word, once given, is kept. If you have another chance sometime to look around here, you will notice that the people who live here are vigorous, sober and pragmatic. They don’t ask where you come from or mind how smartly you can talk; what they care about is that you roll up your sleeves, do your work, and especially that you try to behave decently to others.  So you can imagine that the decline of the coal and steel industry meant a massive upheaval for the Ruhr District and its people, for the economy, but also for social structures here. But precisely in this region, a region which has seen many endings and ruptures, many new things are emerging, many new ideas are being implemented. The major transformation of an old industrial landscape that from here is almost invisible amongst all the greenery, the major transformation of an industrial landscape to a centre of science and research, a hub – if I may put it like that – for technologies of the future is well under way. This morning, at Siemens Energy in Mülheim, we were able to see for ourselves what kind of cutting-edge energy transition technologies, some of them AI-driven, are now being developed and used here in the region.   The venue for our luncheon, the former Zollverein coal mine and coking plant, is a particularly good illustration of the pride the people here in the Ruhr District take in their past, and of the devotion with which they are preserving the relics of this history and at the same time again and again turning them into something new. Once one of the most modern plants of its kind in Europe, Zollverein is today a museum, memorial and centre for culture, design, events and new technologies. A World Cultural Heritage site that not only preserves the past but also looks firmly to the future and builds that future.  As economically successful as the coal and steel era was, today we know that it was just as harmful and in many cases entirely destructive for nature and the environment. For instance, the Emscher, originally a small, gentle river, was for many decades used as an open sewer. It was a cesspool, ecologically dead, into which waste, including toxic waste, was discharged. Now, following a tremendous effort, it has been renaturalised. Later today we will be able to see and admire the result. In one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, an entire river has been cleaned up, so that it is now free of wastewater, and once again home to plants and animals. But perhaps the real miracle is that this – it’s safe to say – gigantic project was completed in thirty years, and on schedule no less.  One more thing: the Ruhr District would not be what it is without football. There is little the people here care about at weekends more than this: did my team win or lose? And passions run especially high when the match is against one of the other teams from the region. Even if a club from the south of Germany has won the national championship for years now, the heart of German football beats – at least so people here say – in the Ruhr District, with its many traditional clubs and their fans, unshakeably loyal through all the ups and downs. That is why the German Football Museum was not established any old where in Germany, but here in the “Revier”, as we call the Ruhr mining area. And that is why this trip would not be complete without a joint visit to the museum in Dortmund later on.  Another very serious matter has profoundly affected the people of this region, and not only the older generation. I am talking about war. On the one hand, the Ruhr District was of course also a major centre of arms production in both World Wars unleashed by Germany. On the other, it, more than almost any other region in Germany, experienced fear, massive destruction and thousands of deaths during the intensive bombardments of the Second World War. The people here, including later generations, know exactly what war is.  And because they know, because “Never again” is deeply engraved in their hearts and minds, the Ruhr District is also a nucleus of European integration. The European Coal and Steel Community, which was intended to transform the former heavy industries of the war machine into civilian, peace-keeping industries, gradually evolved into ever greater political, economic and social cooperation, and finally into the major work of peace and freedom that is today’s European Union.   The history of this region in particular, therefore, preserves the precious knowledge that cooperation between peoples and nations is a thousand times better than war and confrontation. That growth and prosperity evolve not from enmity, but from cooperation based on common rules and principles.   That is why we Germans are pleased and proud to be celebrating 50 years of United Nations membership this year. The principles of international law that the then two German states recognised on their accession apply to all who belong to the United Nations. Only compliance with international law, recognition of the Charter of the United Nations and real and actual action in keeping with the principles of this Charter guarantee peace, freedom and prosperity for the nations. On the basis of these principles, we extend the hand of cooperation to all states represented here.  There is of course a reason why I am saying this: The Russian attack on Ukraine is a break with everything for which the United Nations stands, for which Europe and Germany stand. The inviolability of borders, of a country´s sovereignty and self-determination, of human dignity and peace – all this, as we are seeing day in, day out, means nothing to Putin. Today I would like to thank all those who are condemning and have condemned Russia’s aggression at international level. We must not tolerate the attack against a sovereign neighbouring state, the violation of borders, land grabs, the displacement of millions of people. The international community must not accept all this. And we urgently need this international community, and the common rules this international community sets itself – not only now, but for all the new challenges of this century that are yet to come.  We have all seen that no country on its own can secure a humane future. We are all dependent on partnership and cooperation, particularly in our joint efforts in the fight against climate change. That is why we are endeavouring, that is why German and European policy is endeavouring, to intensify existing partnerships and establish new, just partnerships and alliances that will benefit all sides. Let me say this quite clearly: what we need is not deglobalisation. What we need, in my view, is even closer connectivity aimed at making the world a better place. Because we will only be able to overcome the global challenges if we work together.  I wish you and all of us a pleasant rest of the day with lots of enjoyable experiences, interesting insights and, hopefully, valuable encounters. This evening, right at the end of our trip, we will be experiencing another truly glorious part of North-Rhine Westphalia that will surprise you. What we will be seeing is referred to here as the Versailles of Westphalia. I can only say: look forward to it!

Diplomacy
Russian President Vladimir Putin with China's Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing during Eastern Economic Forum

Meeting with the Deputy Premier of the State Council of China, Zhang Guoqing

by Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin met with Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Zhang Guoqing. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zhang Guoqing, friends, I am very pleased to see you and to welcome you to Russia, to Vladivostok. China has traditionally participated in this forum for many years now. I had the pleasure of welcoming the President of the People's Republic of China to it. He participated in person, spoke here, and then took part in the forum in the videoconference format. I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to convey my best wishes to the President of the People's Republic of China, with whom I have friendly work-related and personal relations. This certainly helps promote bilateral relations and ties between our countries. We know you well as a very business-like person. You headed a major company and now engage in matter of industry. As far as I know, you have already had the chance to meet with your counterparts, deputy prime ministers [Yury] Trutnev and [Denis] Manturov. The latter is in charge of the industrial block in the Government. I would like to note that thanks primarily to the efforts of our governments and business circles, Russia-China relations in this area – the area of economic cooperation – have reached a very high level. Of course, this is a derivative of what has been achieved in the political sphere, but nevertheless the results are more than good, they are excellent, and every year our trade grows by almost one third. This year, too, over the first seven months of it, the trade is up by about the same amount, I think, 24 percent – to as much as 120 billion. The goal President Xi Jinping and I have set – to reach the US$200 billion mark in trade – can be achieved very soon, already this year. I am confident that our relations will keep the current pace. We are glad to welcome you, and I would like to thank you for your decision to come and take part in the Eastern Economic Forum. Welcome. Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Zhang Guoqing (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President, for the opportunity to meet with you. First of all, I would like to pass on to you sincere regards and best wishes from President Xi Jinping. We also wish to offer heartfelt congratulations on the successful organisation of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum. Under the strategic direction of President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin, China and Russia have deepened their overarching partnership and strategic cooperation in this new era. Our relations have maintained a consistently high dynamic. As you rightly noted, our countries have provided resolute mutual support in matters concerning our key interests. We are deepening political cooperation and trust and multiplying our mutual interests, bringing our nations closer. Our multi-dimensional practical cooperation is moving forward progressively, and the range of our bilateral cooperation is constantly expanding. Mr President, you noted the volume of our trade for the first seven months of this year, but in the first eight months of this year, the bilateral turnover reached US$155.1 billion, which is 32 percent higher year-on-year. We have every reason to believe that the goal set at the highest level, to reach US$200 billion in bilateral trade, will be achieved earlier than the end of the year. Last March, President Xi Jinping made a successful state visit to Russia, during which a new large-scale plan for developing China-Russia relations was outlined and new guidelines were set. Currently, the Chinese nation, under the true leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, centred around comrade Xi Jinping, is promoting the comprehensive Chinese modernisation focused on high-quality development. We are ready to share development opportunities and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with our Russian colleagues. Vladimir Putin: We highly value and appreciate the fact that, as you mentioned, the President of China made his first foreign visit after his re-election to Russia. This indicates that the relations between Russia and China have reached an unprecedented and historic level in the past few years. As you said, we will continue working together.

Diplomacy
North Korean President Kim Jong-un with Vladimir Putin

Russia-North Korea talks

by Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin and Chairman of State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un held talks at the Vostochny Space Launch Centre. Following the talks with participation of the countries’ delegations, the two leaders held a one-on-one meeting. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Chairman, I am delighted to see you again and to welcome you to Russia. This time we are meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, just as we agreed. We are proud of the way this sector is developing in Russia, and this is our new facility. I hope that it will be of interest to you and your colleagues. However, our meeting is taking place at a special time. The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea has recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding, and we established diplomatic relations 75 years ago. I would like to remind you that our country was the first to recognise the sovereignty and independence of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This year we mark 70 years since the end of the war for independence and the Korean people’s victory in that war. It is a landmark date because our country also helped our friends in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to fight for their independence. Of course, we need to talk about our economic cooperation, humanitarian issues and the situation in the region. There are many issues we will discuss. I would like to say that I am glad to see you. Thank for accepting our invitation to come to Russia. Welcome. Chairman of State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un (retranslated): I express my gratitude to you for inviting us despite your being busy with state affairs. Our visit to Russia is taking place at a very important time. The Russian side is giving a warm welcome to the delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. From the moment we arrived in Russia, we could feel the sincerity of our Russian friends. On behalf of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, I express my gratitude to you and to the people of the Russian Federation. I also thank you for paying so much attention to our visit to Russia. We have been able to see with our own eyes the present and the future of Russia as it builds itself as a space power. Right now, we are having a meeting at a very special moment, right in the heart of the space power which is Russia. As you mentioned, the Soviet Union played a major role in liberating our country and helping it become an independent state, and our friendship has deep roots. Currently, our relations with the Russian Federation are the top priority for our country. I am confident that our meeting will serve as another step in elevating our relations to a new level. As you have just mentioned, we have many issues pertaining to the development of our relations, including politics, the economy and culture, in order to contribute to the improvement of the well-being of our peoples. Russia is currently engaged in a sacred battle to defend its state sovereignty and security in the face of the hegemonic forces that oppose Russia. We are willing to continue to develop our relations. We have always supported and will continue to support every decision made by President Putin, as well as the decisions of the Russian Government. I also hope that we will always stand together in fighting imperialism and building a sovereign state. Once again, I express my gratitude to you for providing us with the opportunity to visit Russia and for paying so much attention to our visit. Vladimir Putin: Thank you. <…>

Diplomacy
Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister of Iraq, Muhammed Shia al-Sudani

Russia-Iraq talks

by Vladimir Putin , Mohammed Chia al-Soudani

Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Muhammed Shia Al-Sudani, currently on an official visit to Russia. The beginning of Russia-Iraq talks President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends, Welcome to Russia and Moscow. Mr Prime Minister, We are delighted to see you. Relations between our countries are developing rather successfully. Next year, we will mark the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In previous decades, our country accomplished very much in building relations with Iraq, and in the most diverse fields – first and foremost in the economic sphere. An intergovernmental commission is working on this today. In 2022, our trade soared by 43 percent but, unfortunately, dropped this year. We have a lot to discuss. In this sense, of course, your visit is quite timely. The energy sector is certainly the main aspect of our collaboration. Our largest companies operate rather successfully in your country. Our companies have invested a total of about $19 billion, and our collaboration, already quite effective in this area, is only going to expand. We coordinate our work within the OPEC + format, and we are doing this rather successfully in order to stabilise the situation on global markets. On the whole, we are enjoying much success, and I hope that we will continue working in this manner moving forward. We have many bilateral objectives, and we will focus our attention on all of them. Tomorrow, we will take part in a plenary meeting of the Russian Energy Week. This is a valuable and respectable international event in the field of global energy, during which specialists and experts can convene and discuss current developments, as well as shorter-term and remote prospects. Of course, your visit to Russia is taking place amid crises: the Ukrainian crisis continues, and, unfortunately, we are witnessing a sharp deterioration of the situation in the Middle East. I think that many will agree with me that this is a clear example of the United States’ failed policy in the Middle East, which tried to monopolise the settlement process, but, unfortunately, was not concerned with finding compromises acceptable to both sides, but, on the contrary, put forward its own ideas about how this should be done and put pressure on both sides, truly both: first on one, then on the other. But each time without considering the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people, bearing in mind, first of all, the need to implement the decision of the UN Security Council on the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state. But in any case, no matter what happens there… I know your position, Mr Prime Minister, and our position is that harm to the civilian population should be minimised and reduced to zero, and we call on all sides of the conflict to do so. We will certainly talk about this, as well as other problems, during your visit today. After the expanded meeting, we are also planning a face-to-face conversation during a private lunch. There will be an opportunity to discuss everything in detail. Welcome again, Mr Prime Minister. Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Muhammed Shia Al-Sudani (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President. Greetings to the members of the delegations. Thank you very much for the invitation to visit Russia. Russia is a friendly country we have deep and historic ties with. I would like to once again express Iraq’s gratitude to Russia for its support in the fight against terrorism, the war against terrorism, for providing us with weapons so that we could resist armed terrorist gangs. Without a doubt, this episode in the relationship is very valuable; 2014 was of great importance for relations between our countries. With our visit, we want to strengthen interaction and develop relations that have excellent prospects in the political, security, cultural and economic spheres. We have many different opportunities before us. We have a good foundation; there are Russian companies that operate, for example, in the oil and gas sector. Our countries play an important role on the oil market, and therefore it is important for us to continue bilateral coordination and cooperation within the OPEC+ format. This coordination should be based on consideration of supply and demand mechanisms, and the interests of investors, producers and consumers. We will, of course, touch on and discuss these issues during today’s meeting. And tomorrow we will also have a good opportunity to discuss these issues, as well as energy issues, which, of course, are the focus of many, including the Iraqi government. Our visit is taking place at a time when we can see the implementation of a large development project that will ensure trade between Asia and Europe and contribute to the integration of transport corridors, I mean the North – South Transport Corridor first of all. This will support all countries in the region and the entire world and have a positive effect on them. Now, developments in Palestine have taken a complicated and dangerous turn. This is the natural result of the fact that Israel has continued to violate the rights of Palestinians, while the international community has remained silent and failed to live up to its obligations under internationally recognised resolutions. We are now witnessing another Intifada: an uprising of Palestinians demanding to put an end to such violations of their rights. An obvious escalation, and a very dangerous one, with civilians killed as a result and spontaneous bombings carried out, including against civilian targets: all this may result in the destruction of the Gaza Strip. Now we all, as Arab and Islamic countries, and also together with Russia, a permanent member of the [UN] Security Council, a great power, have a responsibility here. This is a moral responsibility, including on major powers, to stop these violations of the rights of Palestinians and to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Of course, today Iraq is trying to maintain stability in all regions through its policies, including with regard to the Ukrainian crisis. We have suffered greatly from blockades and war; of course, that is why our position is firm: we support the search for peaceful solutions through dialogue to end conflicts that have very negative consequences at the humanitarian level and at the economic level. Obviously, the purpose of this visit is discussing these issues and our common positions as well as strengthening our bilateral relations. We also want to contribute to relieving the suffering in the region and ensuring stability in the Middle East and the entire world. Thank you. Vladimir Putin: Thank you. <…>

Diplomacy
Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi King’s al-Yamamah Palace.

Russian-Saudi talks

by Vladimir Putin

A meeting between Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud took place in the Saudi King’s al-Yamamah Palace. At the Conclusion of the Visit of Vladimir Putin to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a Joint Statement has been adopted. Beginning of Russian-Saudi talks Crown Prince, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (retranslated):We can find many topics and subjects of common interest, on which we are working together to promote stability and development around the world, including in the Middle East. Over the past seven years, we have achieved a lot in our bilateral relations, for example, in the energy sector, investment and agriculture. In addition, our political cooperation and interactions have had a positive influence on several Middle Eastern issues and helped enhance security. Moreover, our future political ties and cooperation will, no doubt, have a positive bearing on the international environment. We have broad and far-reaching opportunities ahead of us, and by seizing them we can work together for the benefit of our nations and the entire world. I would like to reiterate, Mr President, that you are a cherished guest here in Saudi Arabia. We welcome you on behalf of its government and its people. Welcome! President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Your Highness, first, I would like to thank you for the invitation. We expected to see you in Moscow. I know that the circumstances have affected these plans. But, as I said, nothing can prevent the development of our friendly relations. Indeed, being in this region on a scheduled visit to the United Arab Emirates, I used your invitation to come and see you and all our friends that we have been vigorously developing our interaction with over the past seven years. That said, the next meeting will hopefully take place in Moscow. Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (retranslated): Of course, we are ready. Vladimir Putin: Agreed. Indeed, the Soviet Union was among the first to recognise the independent state of Saudi Arabia. This was almost a hundred years ago. Our relations have developed in different ways during this time. Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud: I would like to note that it was the development of independence rather than the independence of a state that was recognised at that time. Vladimir Putin: In any event, we respected the will of the subjects of Saudi Arabia to build their future independently. Much has happened in our relations during this time, but over the past seven years, they have certainly reached a truly unprecedented level. This was achieved owing to the wise policy of your father, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King of Saudi Arabia with your direct participation. We have stable, very good ties in political interaction, the economy and in humanitarian area. And, of course, it is now very important for all of us to exchange information and views on what is taking place in the region. No doubt, our meeting is timely. Thank you very much for your invitation, once again. Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud: Welcome! <…>

Diplomacy
Vladimir Putin with President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Russia-UAE talks

by Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The agenda included the current state of multifaceted Russia-UAE cooperation and prospects for the further expansion of ties, as well as topical international issues with a focus on the situation in the Middle East. Before the consultations began, an official welcoming ceremony for the Russian President was hosted by the President of the UAE at the Qasr Al Watan Palace. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and Trade, Russian co-chair of the Russian-Emirati Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office – Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, presidential aides Igor Levitin, Maxim Oreshkin and Yury Ushakov, Russia’s Ambassador to the UAE Timur Zabirov, as well as Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, Central Bank Governor, heads of the Roscosmos State Corporation, Russian Direct Investment Fund, Rosatom State Corporation, Rosoboronexport, VEB.RF State Development Corporation, and other officials took part in the talks on Russia’s side. * * * Beginning of Russia-UAE talks President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (retranslated): Welcome, my dear friend Vladimir Putin, to the United Arab Emirates. I am glad to see you again. Let me begin by emphasising the historical nature of relations between the Russian Federation and the UAE. Over the past years, we have witnessed a substantial push to develop these relations in various spheres for the mutual benefit of our nations and people. I would like to express my great appreciation for your personal and effective contribution to strengthening our bilateral relations. In this context, I would like to say that the UAE is Russia’s biggest trade partner in the Middle East and in the Gulf Region. Let me note that the UAE is a major investor in the Russian economy. Investment in the non-oil sector increased by 103 percent over the past year. I would like to specifically mention that this is an unprecedented breakthrough which demonstrates the special nature of relations between our countries. I will be glad to continue working together on strengthening bilateral cooperation in various spheres. Of course, promoting development in energy, infrastructure, and high technologies, as well as elsewhere has special priority. In addition to this, I would like to mention that the United Arab Emirates and the Russian Federation have been working together and cooperating within various international frameworks. For example, we work together within BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, where the Emirates were granted dialogue partner status in May 2023. We are also developing and promoting the strategic dialogue between the Russian Federation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. This helps us reinforce our relations and expand them in various spheres, promoting a proactive exchange of views on key international and regional matters, as well as on key items on our bilateral agenda. Once again, Mr President, welcome to the United Arab Emirates. I wish progress and prosperity to the Russian Federation and its people. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, friends, First of all, I would like to thank you for inviting us and for this colourful and friendly welcome. The other day, the United Arab Emirates celebrated the 52nd anniversary of its founding. I want to congratulate you on this and I want to recall that the Soviet Union was among the first to recognise this independent, self-reliant, and sovereign state. Today, our relations – thanks to the position you have taken – have reached unprecedented heights. You and I are in constant contact, and our colleagues work together on a permanent basis. In fact, the United Arab Emirates is Russia’s main trade partner in the Arab world. Last year, trade grew by 67.7 percent. This year, I think, the figures will be even higher. The same goes for investment activity. There is also progress in industrial cooperation, by which I mean cooperation to build certain industrial facilities in the United Arab Emirates and in the Russian Federation. A number of major oil and gas projects are being implemented. We also cooperate through OPEC Plus. We certainly attach due importance to humanitarian ties. Tourist exchanges are making headway: last year, almost one million tourists from Russia – a little over 900,000 – visited the UAE. A Russian school has been opened, and we are grateful to you for ordering land set aside to build a Russian Orthodox church. We also cooperate internationally. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United Arab Emirates makes a huge contribution to stabilising the situation in the world. We will certainly discuss with you the situation in the main hot spots, primarily, of course, the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I will certainly inform you of the developments in the context of the Ukraine crisis. I am quite pleased that the United Arab Emirates is beginning to work within the BRICS system. In 2024, Russia will chair this organisation. We will continue contacts on this. We look forward to meeting you at the [BRICS] summit in Kazan in October 2024. The UAE is currently hosting one of the world’s most important environmental forums. The first results of the effort to implement the Paris Agreement are being summed up. As expected, you are holding this event at the highest level, and very many people in the world, even those who do not identify themselves with environmental movements, are certainly grateful to you for this work. A Russian delegation is also involved in this work at the highest level. We wish you success. I have no doubt that it will be so. Shukran! <…>