A Russian senator speaks about the situation in the Middle East

Speaking about the situation in the Middle East, Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the committee for international affairs of the Federation Council (the Upper House of the Russian Parliament), who visited that region as a member of the PACE mission delegation, characterised this situation as "very strained." Addressing the news conference in Moscow, Mikhail Margelov said that the main task of Russia today is to intensify its political participation in the Middle East settlement. "This is very important for us, otherwise we shall lose any positions there," said the spokesman for the Upper House.

In particular, he pointed to the necessity of building up contacts both with Israeli and Palestinian politicians. "The more such contacts, the better for Russia," he said.

Mikhail Margelov pessimistically appraises possible perspectives of the international conference on the Middle East, believing that "it will not be able to resolve anything, and we should not count on its positive results."

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