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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
27 October 2005




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Unofficial translation from Russian
Visit of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to Palestinian National Authority Territories

On October 26, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov paid a working visit to the territories of the Palestinian National Authority. He had conversations with PNA Head Mahmoud Abbas, PNA Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Al Qudwa, and other members of the Palestinian leadership.

The participants in the talks focused mainly on the state of affairs in Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which is today at a crucial and critical stage of transition to a resumption of the political process. The sides underscored the importance of forging stable bilateral contacts between the leaderships of Israel and the PNA, continuing effective engagement in the area of security and other fields, and developing the evident positive trends in the context of Israel's withdrawal of its troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip and a part of the West Bank. A common view was expressed about the necessity of implementing by the parties the accords reached at the summit in Sharm El Sheikh in February 2005. The Palestinian leadership pledged readiness firmly to follow the devised course of reforms and to resolutely counter attempts by terrorists and extremists to again trigger off a spiral of violence and confrontation.

Lavrov and Abbas stressed that they continued to regard as an underlying task the linking of the efforts being made by the Israelis and Palestinians to the Road Map, which is the agreed-upon international legal basis for the peace process in the region. Full compliance with the requirements of this document while expressly renouncing any steps and actions prejudging the final status of the Palestinian territories, the interlocutors noted, is opening up the way to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, its coexistence in peace and security with Israel and the achievement of a comprehensive, just and complete peace in the Middle East on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397.

The participants in the talks concurred in the view that the Quartet is called upon to continue carrying out its constructive and useful work, as its authoritative opinion can help the parties in achieving coordinated approaches and compromises. The Palestinian leadership gave a high assessment to the contribution of Russia to efforts for settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and affirmed its support for Russia's initiative for holding in Moscow a high-level meeting of experts on the Middle East.

An exchange of views on the situation around Syria and Lebanon, in Iraq and on other regional problems also took place. The joint position was reconfirmed in favor of their political settlement in accordance with the requirements of the international community and with emphasis on the necessity of maintaining stability in the region.

Practical steps for the further development of Russian-Palestinian relations were examined, including questions of the rendering by Russia of free aid to the Palestinians in line with the accords reached by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin with PNA Head Mahmoud Abbas in the course of their meetings during the current year in Moscow and Ramallah.

October 27, 2005

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