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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Russian Federation
29 May 2007




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Unofficial translation from Russian

Russian MFA Spokesman Mikhail Kamynin Interview with RIA Novosti Regarding an Upcoming Ministerial Meeting of the Middle East Quartet of International Mediators


Question: How could you describe the situation in Palestinian-Israeli relations on the eve of this meeting of the Quartet? With what mindset is the Russian side going to the upcoming session?

Answer: The Quartet at its session, which will be held on the fringes of the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of Eight countries at Potsdam on May 30, is to discuss the situation that has been characterized by the growth of tension between the parties recently, with bloodshed, unfortunately, having become a routine occurrence.

It is our belief that the vicious circle of violence and counter-violence ought to be resolutely broken. The task of the Quartet’s upcoming meeting is to search for a collective, particularly involving key regional players, way out of the current spiral of confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians as well as to assist them in restoring bilateral contacts, and eventually their political dialogue.

We hope for a subjective exchange of views to be successfully held at Potsdam on the state of affairs in the PNA authorities in all its aspects – inter-Palestinian relations, the economic and social situation and international aid to the Palestinians.

Question: With what suggestions is Russia planning to come up at the Quartet meeting?

Answer: The position of Russia consists in that the international community should support the processes of consolidation among the Palestinians that have found reflection in the formation of a government of national unity on the basis of the Mecca agreement between Fatah and Hamas. So we will call on our Quartet partners to decide favorably on the lifting of the blockade, as a result of which – and this is obvious to all – the socioeconomic plight in the PNA territories has become, without exaggeration, catastrophic. Hopefully the Quartet will support this approach of Russia.

In the context of our well-known proposal to convene a conference on the Middle East with broad international participation, we intend to invite our Quartet partners to consider together how to implement this Russian idea in practice. Simultaneously we plan to discuss possibility of holding a meeting of high-level experts representing the parties involved, the Quartet, and key regional players in the foreseeable future.

May 29, 2007

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