CIS Council of Foreign Ministers kicks off in Moscow

CIS Council of Foreign Ministers kicks off in Moscow

The CIS Council of Foreign Ministers is starting in Moscow today. It is known that increasing the efficiency of the Commonwealth will be the main issue of the meeting. However, the agenda of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers includes a total of 10 issues which affect key areas of the CIS activity.

"The ministers are expected to discuss various aspects of the development of multifaceted cooperation and deepening foreign policy coordination within the framework of the CIS. They will also exchange views on important regional and global issues," the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said.

On the eve of the meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that "no forms of cooperation can be frozen". "This fully applies to the CIS. We perceive reform not as some kind of piece of paper which says "to create a new body, to abolish an old body," he stressed.

We also know that participants of the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers will consider the draft agreement on exchange of geospatial information in accordance with the regional and national interests of the CIS countries, as well as a number of documents regulating cooperation in the health sector.

In addition, the parties plan to discuss documents governing the organization of the international exhibition ART EXPO and the implementation of the interstate program 'Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth'.

It is also reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers.

The ministerial meeting is taking place against a background of deterioration of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian, are in Moscow, but their bilateral meeting hasn't been planned.

Recall, Sergei Lavrov discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku. It is expected that the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will also be raised at the  CIS Council of Foreign Ministers.

The sides of the meeting  have adopted a statement in connection with the aggravation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"The CIS is greatly concerned about reports of armed clashes on the frontline in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which have led to casualties among civilians," the document says.

The statement also calls on the sides of the conflict to "strictly abide by the cessation of hostilities and show restraint in order to avoid future victims".

"It is necessary to take all possible measures as soon as possible to stabilize the situation and intensify efforts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict based on the principles defined by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group," the document stresses.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Minister, the Chairman of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers, Erlan Abdyldaev, noted that the Commonwealth remains "the main dialogue platform for interaction between the post-Soviet countries."

He said that in a narrow format they discussed "proposals for optimization of the Commonwealth following the order given in Astana on October 16th 2015." "As a result, a common interest in improving the efficiency of the CIS activities and adaptation of the CIS activities to modern realities was expressed," Abdyldaev added.

The Chairman of the Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev, said that during the meeting in a narrow format they discussed the implementation of the plan of ministerial consultations within the CIS in 2015 and the plan for 2016. "As a result, Kazakhstan's proposals of October 16th 2015 were considered and the decision was made to hold the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on September 19th 2016 in Bishkek," he said.

The CIS Executive Secretary said that the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers "expressed their positions and assessments, as well as other foreign ministries." According to him, "everyone expressed their satisfaction with the cessation of hostilities."

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