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Articles > News > Russia and Islamic world: Kazansummit results

Russia and Islamic world: Kazansummit results Russia has been actively developing cooperation with Middle Eastern countries, which includes strengthening contacts at the government level, establishing commercial and economic ties, sharing opinions on various topical issues, especially those related to peace and security. Therefore, it is very important to intensify interaction at the level of the residents of Russia and Muslim countries and conduct a constructive dialogue in the cultural, educational, humanitarian, spiritual and other spheres. Public organizations, such as the Russian Muftis Council and the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation headed by Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, the Strategic Vision Group "Russia - Islamic World", Rossotrudnichestvo, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other organisations play an important role in the implementation of these tasks.

The session "Public Dialogue between Russian and East. Mutually beneficial partnership", organized by the Russian RBM in the framework of the 12th International Economic Summit "Russia - Islamic World: KazanSummit 2021", contributed to this development. The session was moderated by Rushan Abbyasov, deputy chairman of the RMC and RBMRF. The co-moderator was Sami Kleib, a Lebanese writer and journalist.

This international event brought together participants from Russia, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The speakers and special guests included the director of Rossotrudnichestvo, Evgeny Primakov; deputy chairman of the Strategic Vision Group "Russia-Islamic World", deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Farit Mukhametshin; Permanent Representative of Russia to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah Ramadan Abdulatipov; member of the State Duma, member of the Duma Committee on International Affairs Rasul Botashev; Adviser to the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Ali Dari Ali Al-Fayyad;  Head of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies of the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Vasily Kuznetsov; Executive Director of the International Investment Company Abdella Sheibani (UAE); general director of the Centre for International Strategic Initiatives Ahmad Azimov; Head of the Russian National Tourism Office and Official Representative of the Russian Union of Travel Industry in the Middle East (UAE) Marina Morozova, Director of the Russian-Iraqi Business Council Walid Latif Abdullah, Ambassadors and diplomatic staff from Syria, Palestine and Lebanon and other distinguished guests.

Evgeny Primakov addressed the participants and audience in the video format, saying the following: "Russia is a place of adequacy and responsibility, where cultures, religions don't just coexist but are intertwined. They have created a civilisation that has never been involved in colonialism, has always shared its achievements and advocated for peace in the entire world. The Muslim community and the Islamic world were and still are a part of our civilisation. The dialogue between Russia and the East must not become a new line of confrontation with the West. Our responsibility is to connect, to establish harmonious and mutually beneficial relations and ties".

His message was followed with a presentation prepared by Farit Mukhametshin. The Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council "Russia - Islamic World" stressed that for Russia the dialogue with the East is not only an external, but also an internal one, it is an act of self-discovery, which is why the development of public relations between Russia and the Muslim countries and the development of public diplomacy in this field are extremely important to us.

Ramazan Abdulatipov, Russia's Permanent Representative to the OIC in Jeddah, noted the role of the East and its contribution to the world's heritage. In particular, he said that the East was at the origin of numerous scientific discoveries and artworks and has always been a source of spirituality for Russia. He also added that Russia feels and knows the East and has always been an intermediary between the eastern and western worlds.

This view was also seconded by the speakers from the Arab-Muslim countries, in particular Mr Abdella Sheibani, who highlighted the role of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin in stabilising the situation in the Middle East and creating additional poles of power in the world.

Rasul Batashev emphasized the important role of the RBMRF in strengthening Russia's ties with the East. He said that for Muslims religion goes beyond the mosques' walls, it determines their lifestyle, therefore, it is important to involve the Muslim clergy in building relations between Russia and the East. He added that Russia already has close relations with the Middle East and Africa in the fields of education, medicine, trade, industry and technology and it is necessary to focus on developing these relations.

Ahmad Azimov, general director of the Centre for International Strategic Initiatives, touched upon the important topic of the potential of Russian Muslims in public diplomacy. "The role of Russian Muslims, their potential must increase, because Muslims can feel the trends happening in the Islamic world, provide correct assessments, forecasts, which is very important in building long-term strategic relations. It has already been mentioned that the Russian Muftis Council and the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation do not limit themselves to mere religious acivities. In my opinion, we need professional centres that could propose joint projects for Russia and the countries of the East based on a deeper knowledge of the Islamic factor. This will create additional soft power tools that will allow Russia to successfully implement its projects in the Islamic world", - he said.

Other Russian and foreign speakers delivered insightful and informative speeches, revealing new perspectives for the dialogue between Russia and the Eastern countries. Despite the diversity of languages and perspectives on Russian-Eastern relations, the main message was about unbreakable historical ties between Russia and the East and the importance of developing public diplomacy.

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