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Source: Russian Federation
25 August 2005




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Unofficial translation from Russian

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Holds Talks with PNA Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Al Qudwa


Talks took place on August 25 at the Russian Foreign Ministry between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Nasser Al Qudwa, who had arrived in Moscow for a working visit.

Their focus was the situation in Israeli-Palestinian settlement. A common view was expressed that implementing Israel's plan of withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and a part of the West Bank can impart a weighty impulse to resuming the peace process on the basis of the Road Map. Its ultimate aim is the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel in peace and security.

Sergey Lavrov noted that Moscow positively assesses the efforts being made by the Israeli authorities for evacuating settlements from Palestinian territories. It is important that Israel's pullout from Gaza should be complete and final and lead to the end of the occupation of the strip. The Russian side presumes that both Palestinians and Israelis, despite acts of provocation and attacks by terrorists and extremists, will firmly adhere to their commitments, exercise restraint and not take any steps predetermining the outcome of the talks on final status. Lavrov emphasized Russia's readiness together with the other Quartet members and concerned parties to render necessary assistance, including that for advancing Palestinian-Israeli settlement. In this connection the ministers noted the significance of an upcoming Quartet meeting in New York on September 20 and the holding in Moscow of a high-level international expert meeting.

The Palestinian side reiterated adherence to the Road Map and the preparedness of the PNA leadership to coordinate actions with Israel to ensure control, order and stability in the Palestinian territories being vacated.

During the conversation, the prospects for the development of Russian-Palestinian relations were thoroughly examined. The sides noted that a solid foundation for their further strengthening is the accords reached in the course of the visits of Head of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas to Moscow in January 2005 and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the Palestinian territories in April 2005. Practical steps were discussed to expand the inter-MFA dialogue, and bilateral cooperation in various fields, including personnel training, cultural and parliamentary exchanges and business partnerships. Sergey Lavrov reconfirmed that Russia will continue to render practical assistance to the PNA in the formation of Palestinian statehood, the pursuit of reforms and the tackling of acute social and economic problems.

The minister accepted with gratitude the invitation of Nasser Al Qudwa to visit the Palestinian territories. The date of the visit will be fixed via diplomatic channels.

August 25, 2005

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