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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
18 October 2005

 President Vladimir Putin sent a message to President of Israel Moshe Katsav.

The message is concerned with continuing the settlement process following the withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. 

Mr Putin said there is now a real chance, in his view, for restoring mutual trust between the Israelis and the Palestinians and renewing the process of reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Middle East. 

The President expressed a number of views on how to take the process further, noting the need to take urgent measures to consolidate and build on the positive results obtained so far in making headway on a peace settlement and saying that to follow a ‘wait and see’ strategy now would only play into the hands of those who have an interest in maintaining entrenched fears and an atmosphere of distrust. The Israeli public is likely to experience a fundamental change in opinion and begin to support renewed negotiations with the Palestinians only if the Palestinian National Authority takes effective action to prevent terrorism and establish reliable law and order on the territories that have come under its control.

At the same time, Mr Putin noted that unless there are visible changes for the better in the everyday lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the initial euphoria could turn into disappointment that would be put to use by extremist groups. In this respect, ensuring freedom of movement for people and goods in the Palestinian territories, ensuring their links to the outside world, and guaranteeing a firm commitment on both sides to refrain from any steps that would be in anticipation of the outcome of negotiations on the question of a final status would contribute to making progress towards a fair and long-term political settlement. 

Russia hopes that with the support of its partners and allies it would be possible to hold a fruitful international meeting in Moscow, with the participation of Israeli specialists, devoted to issues such as renewing multilateral cooperation in the region and normalising Arab-Israeli relations.

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