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Split among Palestinians hampers progress in talks on Middle East — diplomat

June 03, 2016, 17:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Israel is still negative about the idea of an international conference, and its opinion cannot be ignored

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© AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The split among Palestinians hampers progress in the Middle Eastern settlement, Russian presidential special envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.

Bogdanov reminded that in 2005 Russia came forward with the idea to hold an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow. "This forum was supposed to be organized at the stage when the sides in the conflict made significant progress in the dialogue on all issues of the final status of Palestinian territories," Bogdanov said at the international Middle East peace conference in Paris.

However, there are still no favorable conditions for implementing the Russian initiative, the diplomat said. "Israel is still negative about the idea of an international conference, and its opinion cannot be ignored. Such situation should be taken into consideration at the Paris forum as well. Any conditions forced on the sides from the outside will hardly work," the diplomat said.

"Another negative factor hampering the progress is the split among Palestinians. This problem should be resolved as priority task so that Palestinians present a single and united delegation at the talks on the final status," Bogdanov added.

"Russia fully supports efforts on soonest restoration of inter-Palestinian unity on the basis of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and Arab Peace Initiative, holds dialogue with representatives of the whole range of Palestinian forces, first of all Fatah and Hamas, in the interests of achieving appropriate agreements. We hope that such approach is shared by other members of the international community," the diplomat concluded.

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