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Mr Berdimuhamedov, thank you for the hearty and warm welcome and your traditional hospitality, which we always associate with Ashgabat.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin sends his warm regards. He has asked me to convey his pleasure about the meeting you had at the summit of the gas exporting countries in Tehran in late November and to tell you that he looks forward to future meetings, all the more so since you stated that some elements of the nascent positive trends in our relations should be strengthened.
I’d like to say that I’m satisfied with the talks I had during my meeting with the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. We discussed all the fundamental aspects of our ongoing cooperation and the agreements reached by the presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan, including those secured at their meeting in Tehran in late November 2015. We pointed to the major progress that has been achieved in bilateral trade and economic cooperation in terms of their results and, most importantly, their potential.

Mr Meredov, Mr Blokhin,

Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Your Excellences,

We are attending a wonderful event, the official opening ceremony of the new Russian embassy complex in Turkmenistan. Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and I have briefly toured the complex. It has all the right conditions for work and recreation, as well as for raising children and engaging in sports activities.

Question: Mr Lavrov, let’s begin with the key issue. Is it possible to create a broad front against the terrorist organisations that are operating in Syria and Iraq, which President Vladimir Putin has recently proposed? The so-called "Bashar al-Assad Problem” appears to remain one of the main obstacles.  Has there been any progress in attaining this goal?

Ladies and gentlemen,

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and I have had quite substantial talks that, as usual, were held in an atmosphere of confidence and friendship.

We have noted that the relations between our countries are gaining a positive momentum and reiterated our mutual commitment to cooperation in various areas. This was mentioned by President Vladimir Putin and President Hassan Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who have met on a number of occasions. Their last meeting took place on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Tanasak Patimapragorn have been very useful and meaningful.

Thailand is one of Russia’s oldest partners in Southeast Asia. Our relations are based on traditions of friendship, mutual respect and trust. In July 2017 we will mark the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. Today we have agreed to do everything in order to hold befitting celebrations of this date, including several major events.

The marathon negotiations conducted by the P5+1 international mediators and Iran for many years have come to an end. The talks were coordinated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who, together with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is now giving a presentation on the results of their work for the journalists and audiences around the world.

Question: Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin had talks on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa. They mentioned the issue of joining the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). What could you say about the results of their meeting?

Sergey Lavrov: During the summit in Moscow last May, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin signed a memorandum on the initiative to join Silk Road Economic Belt projects and the processes of Eurasian economic integration. Naturally, Russia and China are not the only two potential participants in these efforts. This issue concerns the entire EAEU. The initiative put forward by the leaders of our two countries is now being reviewed by our EAEU partners.

Sergey Lavrov: Another round of ministerial talks on Iran's nuclear programme has come to a conclusion. We compared our notes, noted substantial progress and singled out eight to nine issues that need to be finalised. We issued instructions to our deputies/policy directors, who will follow up on this work over the next couple of days. In the end, I believe that this meeting, just like our meeting in Lausanne, was the right thing to do. The closer the finish line, the more stakeholders are tempted to bargain for more concessions from the other side. This is natural. It happens all the time at any and all multilateral meetings and discussions. Today, we can state the following result — we have come closer still to a final agreement. Clearly, everyone is interested in reaching it. We decided not to set any artificial deadlines for ourselves.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held useful and constructive talks in keeping with the way our dialogue with Luxembourg has always been.

Luxembourg is our longtime partner and a major foreign investor in Russia. We noted the ongoing interest of the business communities of both countries in deepening our cooperation. We welcome the active work of Luxembourg’s industry flagships, such as Paul Wurth in metallurgy, and Guardian Industries, on the Russian market. Recently, Accumalux Russia – a high-tech joint venture – was created in Togliatti. We agreed that we will promote and maintain the interests of our respective business communities in harmonising and implementing new projects.