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Russian, Israeli diplomats discuss Middle East settlement — Foreign Ministry

The two diplomats also discussed bilateral relations

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Russia and Israel have discussed the Middle East conflict and pressing issues concerning bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a meeting between Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Israel’s Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for diplomacy Alon Ushpiz.

"The parties exchanged views on the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict," the statement reads. "They also touched upon some aspects of Russian-Israeli relations," the Russian Foreign Ministry added. The parties also signed a protocol concerning consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries planned to take place in 2018-2019.

Russia calls for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict through bilateral talks and has many times voiced readiness to provide a platform for the parties to hold negotiations without preconditions.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the key issues concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israel, who seized the eastern part of the city during the 1967 war, insists that Jerusalem is the single and indivisible capital of the country, while Palestinians wish to make the eastern part of the city the capital of their state. At the same time, the ongoing construction of Jewish settlements on the West Bank of the River Jordan is another obstacle hampering the resolution of the conflict.