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Can Russia, China cooperate on the Middle East?

Russia and China seek to reinforce cooperation over the Middle East, but each approaches the region with its own rationale.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. Picture taken November 30, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC1AB6752940
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MOSCOW — Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, traveled to Beijing for talks on Dec. 5-6 with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Le Yucheng and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiaodong, whose area of responsibility includes West Asia and North Africa.

The focus of the discussions was on the current situations in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and the Gulf, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian settlement. Following the talks, the parties stated Moscow and Beijing share approaches to addressing the crises in the Middle East via politico-diplomatic tools “in accordance with fundamental principles of the international law and the UN Charter.” Most interestingly, Russian and Chinese diplomats agreed to maintain “dynamic bilateral dialogue on the Middle East issues that are in the mutual interest.”

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