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Moscow welcomes Shalit swap as step to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations

October 18, 2011, 19:34 UTC+3
“The swap give grounds to hope for progress in other sensitive issues through a direct or mediated dialog,” the ministry said
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MOSCOW, October 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The fulfillment of the Palestinian-Israeli agreement on the exchange of Corporal Gilad Shalit for Palestinian prisoners improves the atmosphere of the bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“We welcome the fulfillment of the swap agreement, which we have lauded earlier,” the ministry said. “We think that the humanitarian dimension of this mutual goodwill gesture is important.”

“We also think that the swap will help improve the general atmosphere in the region and in the Palestinian-Israeli relations,” the ministry said. “The swap give grounds to hope for progress in other sensitive issues through a direct or mediated dialog.”

“Gilad Shalit was transferred to the Israeli side on the Gaza border and met with his family and friends. Simultaneously, the first group of Palestinian prisoners – 477 people – was released in Israel. Another 550 Palestinians will be released in December,” the ministry said.

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