Russian Foreign Ministry: Road Map fulfilment to be hard but necessary

Moscow realizes that fulfilment of the Middle East settlement plan, the Road Map, will not be easy.

"It will require a hard work to bring the parties' positions closer, but there is no other way," said the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko, when answering journalists' questions in Moscow on Monday.

The Road Map is "a balanced and compromising document, and thus it cannot meet the parties' demands by 100 per cent," he pointed out. "Both the Israelis and the Palestinians find in it clauses that they believe to encroach on their interests," the diplomat admitted.

"Yet to achieve the set task, it is necessary to make mutual concessions," he emphasized, recalling that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had "quite recently announced its readiness to agree to a painful compromise". "Yet no one in the Israeli leadership has officially announced their rejection of the Road Map," the spokesman pointed out.

"As to the Palestinian party, it unequivocally gave its agreement to the plan, despite having some reservations and remarks," Yakovenko said. Thus the leadership of the Palestinian National Autonomy "proved the seriousness of its intention to take real action in order to achieve the peace," he believes.

"We assess the current situation realistically, taking into account all these aspects and build our strategy with proper considerations," the Russian diplomat concluded. He expressed his hope that the Road Map would be a success.

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