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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
8 September 2006




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Unofficial translation from Russian

Transcript of Remarks by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Before Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Tel Aviv, September 7, 2006


I am very glad to be in Israel, on the soil of our friends. Friends who are living through complicated times, just as their neighbors. We are convinced that efforts by all countries of the region, by all governments of the region, to find a way to achieve a stable, lasting peace and a long-term reliable security for each country, and good-neighborliness will be crowned with success.

I arrived in Tel Aviv after visiting Beirut and Damascus today. I can assure the Prime Minister, and all the Israeli friends that the yearning for peace and tranquility is strong in these countries as never before.

The positions now prevail there of those who do not want to be bogged down in endless disputes who was right earlier and who was wrong later anymore. The sole desire now is for all to sit down at the negotiating table together and find solutions which would suit all countries of the region, including, of course, Israel.

We have always stressed the full recognition by the Russian Federation of Israel's inalienable right to security. We are convinced that the entire experience of the development of the Middle East region in recent decades suggests that there is no way other than tackling this problem by peaceful means.

We count on UNSC Resolution 1701, on which we all worked, being fulfilled by all parties in all its aspects. We hold that the captives should be freed as soon as possible, that the blockade should be lifted, and that the Lebanese army should be more actively deployed to the south of Lebanon, which will enable the Israeli forces to withdraw their contingent from there. In a broader context we are convinced that to ensure reliable security for all countries of the region we must consider in earnest the convocation of an international conference where all the parties could on an equal basis uphold their vital needs and interests and reach agreement on all aspects of Middle East settlement.

In closing I wish to say that we are very much awaiting Mr. Olmert in Moscow. Apart from regional issues, we have very intense bilateral cooperation and we want to develop it.

September 8, 2006

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