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Quartet to play key role in re-launch of Israel-Palestine talks

December 01, 2011, 4:53 UTC+3
Russia’s offer on organisation in Moscow of an international conference on the Middle East in time convenient for the parties remains in force
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UN, December 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia undertakes active efforts to re-launch the substantive negotiation process between Israel and Palestine, which should result in formation of an independent territorially uninterruptable and viable Palestinian state inside the borders of 1967 with agreed territory changes, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN told a plenary session of the 66th session of the General Assembly on Palestine on Thursday.

He stressed that Russia recognised the Palestinian state back in 1988 and this is why it supported Palestine’s application for full-fledged membership in the UN and voted for admission of Palestine to UNESCO.

“At the same time, Russia remains a principal supporter of a political-diplomatic way of settlement of the Palestinian problem,” he said. “As Russia’s President Medvedev said in his address to the head of the PNA Abbas on the International day of solidarity with the people of Palestine, the country’s acquisition of national sovereignty in the internationally recognised basis will favour achievement of full-fledged fair settlement in the Middle East.”

The main role in the re-launch of the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis on the well-known international legal basis should be played by the quartet of international mediators of the USA, Russia, the UN and the EU, as a “proven mechanism of outside support of the process of the Middle East settlement,” Churkin said. “Russia’s offer on organisation in Moscow of an international conference on the Middle East in time convenient for the parties remains in force.”

Russia is convinced that “building up Israeli settlements and stopping of monetary means in favour of the PNA from tax and customs duties do not favour the atmosphere for renewing the negotiations.” Punishing Palestinians for their international activity “contradicts any logics and is counterproductive,” he said. “These measures do not bring us closer to peace in the Middle East, but just on the contrary, they hold us away from it.”

Churkin said that Moscow supports the efforts “to overcome the Palestinian split on the basis of the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Arab peace initiative.” He called for excluding “terror manifestations against southern Israel and Israel’s raids against the south of the sector,” which “cause sufferings of civil population.” At the same time, Russia supports Israel’s initiatives to ease blockade of Gaza, but it is adamant that “correcting the humanitarian situation in the sector may be possible only after complete lifting of the blockade,” Churkin said.

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