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MOSCOW, June 27 (Itar-Tass) - Israel should stop its settlement policy on the occupied territories, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
“According to mass media reports, on June 26, Jerusalem’s municipality approved a plan to build 69 houses on Jabal Abu-Guneim, the suburbs of East Jerusalem. Moscow voices concern about such decision,” the ministry said.
The construction on the occupied territories “is banned under the norms of international law and should be stopped”. “Such unilateral steps are counter-productive and do not help create a favourable atmosphere to resume the political process,” the ministry said.
Russia believes that all problems of the final status of the Palestinian territories, “includi9ng the future of Jerusalem and the settlements, should be solved by Palestinian-Israeli talks”. “The construction of settlements mars Palestinian-Israeli relations and has a negative impact on the efforts by the international community, including by Russia, to resume the peace process on the international legal base,” the ministry said.
The situation on the Palestinian-Israeli track was in the focus of the meeting between Russian presidential special envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bodganov and Palestinian Ambassador in Moscow Fayed Mustafa. The meeting was held on the initiative of the Palestinian ambassador, the ministry said.
“During the meeting, the parties discussed key regional issues. Special attention was paid to the efforts to resume the Palestinian-Israeli settlement and practical aspects of Russian-Palestinian relations, including measures to step up the political dialogue,” the ministry said.