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Senior lawmaker: Sober-minded politicians welcome Russia’s return to Middle East

February 05, 2016, 17:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In Valentina Matviyenko's words, in recent years Russia had done much to reestablish its humanitarian presence in the Holy Land

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Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko

Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma press service/TASS

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Sober-minded politicians and citizens in the Middle Eastern countries welcome Russia’s political and humanitarian return to this region, since they see in Russia a reliable partner that will not allow imbalances in politics, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko told the Rossiya 24 news TV channel summing up the results of her official visit to Israel and working visit to Palestine.

"Most of our interlocutors emphasize that it is very important that Russia has returned to the Middle East, that Russia has regained its influence in the Middle East, that it behaves like a responsible state, a responsible member of the international community," the senator said.

"The absolute majority of politicians and sober-minded people perceive with gratitude and understanding the fact that Russia is returning not only to the Holy Land and is reestablishing its historical presence, that it has returned to the Middle East politically, this is very important," Matviyenko said.

She also noted that in recent years Russia had done much to reestablish its humanitarian presence in the Holy Land. A Russian school and a cultural center named after Russian President Vladimir Putin by the Palestinians have been opened in Bethlehem. Another center was opened in Jericho. "One should see the attitude of Bethlehem residents and people in Palestine in general, their words of gratitude to Russia for the fact that we confirm our friendship not just with words but also with such bright, interesting and necessary projects," Matviyenko added.

The delegation of the upper house of the Russian parliament led by Valentina Matviyenko paid an official visit to Israel and a working visit to Palestine on February 2-4. The senators held talks with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein. Russia’s Federation Council and Israel’s Knesset signed an agreement on cooperation. As part of the humanitarian program, Russian lawmakers visited the Russian school and cultural center in Palestine, the Russian Spiritual Mission and the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem and took part in the wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to Red Army soldiers in the Israeli city of Netanya.

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