(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over bilateral relations and regional developments, a Royal Court statement said.
During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, the King and Lavrov stressed the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation in various fields, especially the politics, economy and military.
They underscored the need to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis and the importance of the agreement over the de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria that was reached by Jordan, Russia and the US.
His Majesty and the Russian official also discussed the international efforts to activate the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis and finding political solutions for the region's crises, a Royal Court statement said.
Lavrov's visit came prior to UN General Assembly meetings in New York and the 6th session of Astana talks on Syria, which aim to cease fighting in the war-torn country and find a political solution to the conflict on the basis of Geneva peace talks.
Meanwhile, Safadi described the agreement to establish a de-escalation zone in southern Syria reached by Jordan, the US and Russia as "the most successful".
At a joint press conference that followed a meeting with Lavrov, Safadi noted that Jordan sees the zone as part of the ultimate solution, which must be a complete ceasefire across Syria, followed by a political solution.
He added that Jordan deals with the crisis in a manner that ensures its interests, foremost the security of borders.
'Jordan is examining the developments on ground. If those developments would allow initiating talks with the Syrian side to reopen the borders, the Kingdom will do that', Safadi told reporters.
The top diplomat stressed that Jordan does not want sectarian militias on its borders such as Daesh and Jabhat Al Nusra, and supports all efforts for an inclusive and sustainable ceasefire that ends the bloodshed.
He underscored the burdens that Jordan is shouldering due to hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees, noting that Jordan wants Syria to restore its stability and Syrian people to live safely in their country without the presence of foreign groups.
For his part, Lavrov commended the strategic relations between Jordan and Russia in various fields including economy and technical military cooperation.
Lavrov expressed dissatisfaction over the 'shrinking' trade between the two countries, adding that Russia is keen on increasing the flow of goods in the future.
The Russian Minister thanked Jordan for the special care provided to the Russian pilgrims during their visits to holy places in the Kingdom.
He also thanked Jordan for allocating a land plot on the side of the Jordan River to Russians, where they built a reception house for the pilgrims at the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ. The decision was made in 2008, upon the King's directives.
The minister noted that Jordan is participating in the upcoming Astana meeting on Syria as an observer and is an active partner in establishing the de-escalation zones.
On Syria, Lavrov said that Russia intervened in the crisis upon a request by the legitimate government, and the same applies to Iran and Hizbollah.
He stressed that Russia seeks a ceasefire and a political settlement for the conflict.
The minister noted that there are 'personas non grata' in Syria, adding that some Syrian opposition factions are trying to protect Jabhat Al Nusra, which is not acceptable for Russia as Al Nusra is classified as a terrorist group.
Lavrov said that Saudi Arabia, which he had visited a day earlier, will cooperate in establishing the de-escalation zones and is keen on solving the Syrian crisis.
Jordan and Russia also call for solving the crises in Libya and Yemen peacefully without exterior intervention, he added.
Prior to his meeting with Safadi, Lavrov met with Jordanian graduates of the Soviet Union's institutions including a number of MPs.
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