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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
14 September 2006




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Unofficial translation from Russian
Mikhail Kamynin, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Question from ITAR-TASS on Palestinian-Israeli Relations

There have appeared media reports that in accordance with the decision of an Israeli military judge the release will occur of 21 senior Hamas officials currently in detention in Israeli prisons. Is it possible on this basis to speak of a breakthrough in relations between the Palestinians and Israel?

Answer: Indeed, different media have circulated the news that the official Hamas representatives detained after June 28 this year, and they are, I'll specify, members of the government of the Palestinian National Authority and parliamentarians, are to be released in the coming hours. That decision of the Israeli military judge and its execution can only be welcomed. Moscow had from the outset regarded the detention of the members of the Palestinian government and the Palestinian Legislative Council as unlawful and unacceptable, and advocated their soonest release. But to speak of a breakthrough in Palestinian-Israeli affairs is nevertheless too early, I think.

It is necessary that the successful solution of this question should not become an accidental episode, but commence new positive dynamics in relations between the two peoples and start a resumption of full-fledged negotiation contacts between the sides. Some grounds for optimism exist. We have already welcomed the agreement in principle between leading Palestinian political forces, Fatah and Hamas, to form a government of national unity. Its realization, undoubtedly, would be a step in the right direction. Among other things, we also perceive in this the fruits of our painstaking work with Hamas, in particular, on the elaboration of a pan-Palestinian political platform which would be compatible with the generally recognized norms of international law and establish conditions for the resumption of movement towards a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

November 14, 2006

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