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MOSCOW, November 30 (Itar-Tass) – Moscow hopes Israel will not take any destructive decisions in response to the granting of an observer-nation status to Palestine at the UN, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters Thursday.
“I think they /the Israelis/ will take a balanced stance on the issue and we should hope they won’t take any half-baked destructive steps in this connection,” he said.
Support for the policies conducted by the Palestinian leadership serves the interests of the Palestinian side as much as Israel and the entire international community, Bogdanov said.
"We really take close to heart the cause of peaceful political settlement on the basis of fruitful talks and that's why today's decision /on granting the observer-nation status to Palestine/ -- and it'll most certainly be taken -- isn't by any means an alternative to the Palestinian-Israeli talks," he said.
"These talks should begin as soon as an opportunity for them avails itself," Bogdanov said. "Quite naturally, they should be effectuated on an international legal basis accepted by the UN. We mean in the first place the resolutions of the UN Security Council."
Moscow supports the Palestinian people's legitimate willingness to build an independent state that would coexist peacefully with Israel and other neighbors, and "the only way to attain this lies through negotiations and through a search for mutually solutions to all the aspects of peace settlement."
Bogdanov indicated that the world eyewitnessed an exchange of missile strikes between Israel and the Palestinian groupings in the Gaza Strip just a few days ago. Innocent civilians were dying then.
"A lull /in the fighting/ that has come about remains very fragile," he said.
"The sides should exercise restraint and should simultaneously rule out any one-sided actions that might deadlock the peace process or predestine an /unfavorable/ outcome of the talks," Bogdanov said.
In this connection, Moscow urged Israel to stop any activity as regards the construction or expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank of the Jordan and in East Jerusalem.
An important role is given to the Quartet of international mediators , Bogdanov said, adding: "Moscow is trying to use the potential of the Quartet to the full but simultaneously we keep up on our agenda the proposal to hold and international conference on the Middle East in Moscow."