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Russian FM calls for peace efforts in Mideast


Source: | 02-17-2009 10:22

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has called for a new push to the peace process in Middle East.

During his visit to Jerusalem, Lavrov held meetings with Israeli leaders and the Palestinian President and called for the next Israeli government to renew peace talks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) walks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah February 16, 2009. REUTERS/Omar Rashidi/PPO/Handout
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) walks with
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their
meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah February 16,
2009. REUTERS/Omar Rashidi/PPO/Handout

Lavrov said Russia is ready and willing to assist in preventing weapons smuggling into Gaza, but stressed that his country could not play a central role. He added that Russia wants to hold talks with Egypt regarding the matter.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said, "We think there needs to be a new push for the peace process and we came to an agreement during our conversations here in Israel that there needs to be a renewal of the peace process and to reach new achievements."

Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Party Leader, said, "I was pleased to hear from Mr Lavrov about the stance of Russia regarding Hamas, that Hamas needs to recognize Israel, that it needs to abandon the way of terror, needs to accept earlier agreements. It's a correct approach, in my opinion a successful approach and an approach that recognizes a realistic stance."