Moscow Concerned Over Mideastern Escalation

The day before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's arrival in Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Sredin, the president's special envoy to the Middle East, told reporters about Moscow's deep concern over the deteriorating situation in the region and its most unfavourable prospects. Palestinian-Israeli confrontation is persisting while the recent tensions in the Israel-Lebanon-Syria triangle has confirmed the area's unsafe status. Moscow suggests Israel and Palestine meet each other halfway in measures on easing the tensions. In addition, the sides should implement the earlier-signed agreements and work out a mutually-beneficial platform for political settlement talks. He was emphatic on the Egyptian-Jordanian initiative making it possible to launch negotiations. Sredin also warned against flaring up the Lebanese-Israeli border dispute. Moscow has maintained contact with all the sides involved in the conflict, seeking to keep the situation under control, added Sredin.