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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
15 August 2005




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Unofficial translation from Russian

Statement by Mikhail Kamynin, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regarding the Start of Israel's Withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Northern West Bank


The implementation of the plan for Israel's withdrawal the Gaza Strip and the northern part of the West Bank began on August 15. Following the evacuation of Israeli settlements and military infrastructure control over the Palestinian territories being vacated passes entirely to the Palestinians.

Russia welcomes this step as an important event in Palestinian-Israeli relations. The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and a part of the West Bank must give an additional impetus to the restoration of the peace process and advancement towards a just Palestinian-Israeli settlement in the context of the Road Map. The ultimate objective is to create an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

It is important not to give opponents of the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue any chance to provoke excesses or incidents capable of scuttling the evacuation that has begun. Israelis and Palestinians, acting in close coordination and observing their obligations and the accords reached, should do everything they can to ensure calm at all the stages of implementation of the plan.

Russia as an active Quartet member supports the resolute steps of the leaderships of Israel and the PNA, counts on success of the process that has begun and intends to render energetic assistance to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and establishing an enduring and just peace in the Middle East.

August 15, 2005

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