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Middle East peace conference’s statement affirms settlement principles — Foreign Ministry

January 16, 16:23 UTC+3
The Russian Foreign Ministry notes the launch of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians remains the priority task in the Middle East settlement process
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MOSCOW, January 16./TASS/. The final statement by the international conference on the Middle East Peace Process, held in Paris on January 15, correctly replicates the main principles of the Middle East settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"We note that the forum’s final statement correctly replicates the main guidelines of the existing international legal framework for the settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the ministry said.

"An appeal is directed to the Palestinians and Israelis to confirm their commitment to the two-state solution, refraining from unilateral moves that can forestall the outcome of the talks on all issues regarding the final status of the Palestinian territories," it said.

The Foreign Ministry noted that the launch of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians remains the priority task in the Middle East settlement process. "We confirm our readiness to provide our platform for this goal," the ministry said. "Contribution to intra-Palestinian reconciliation is another major vector of our activity. Indeed, Moscow is now hosting a high-level meeting of representatives from all main Palestinian groups," it added.

Russia confirms its willingness to host the talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the Middle East settlement and the ball is in their court, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat on January 13.

"We were ready to receive Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Moscow back in September last year, and we are prepared now when they can confirm their readiness," Lavrov stated.

Russia’s top diplomat stressed that the need for direct talks between Israel and Palestine for achieving peaceful settlement is "long overdue."

A meeting of representatives from leading Palestinian factions was held in Moscow on January 15 to discuss prospects for restoring the unity.

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