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MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault have had a telephone conversation to discuss Middle East settlement ahead of the Paris conference on the issue.
The discussion was held at the initiative of the French side.
"The Middle East settlement theme was discussed in the context of the Paris-sponsored international meeting, due on June 3, 2016. Lavrov spoke highly of France’s efforts to arrange for the forum. He expressed the hope that the ideas of the Middle East quartet, which is an instrument of international mediation between the Palestinians and the Israelis, will be in great demand within the framework of the conference in Paris," the Foreign Ministry said.
Lavrov and Ayrault also exchanged opinion of the Normandy Quartet’s tasks to support the implementation of the Minsk Accords on overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, Nagorno-Karabakh, and some aspects of bilateral Russian-French contacts."
On May 19 Ayrault said that Paris would host a Palestinian-Israeli settlement conference on June 3. He remarked that the situation in the Middle East "was critical and aroused serious concern."