Russian Deputies Suggest That A Meeting Of Middle East Parliamentarians Be Held In Moscow

The State Duma (the lower house of parliament) international affairs committee proposed that a working meeting of the Middle East parliamentarians be held in Moscow early next year. This information was provided by member of the international affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev, when he commented on the results of the visit of this committee's delegation to the Middle East. According to Kosachev, this meeting is expected to be attended by parliamentarians from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Russia and the USA, which are co-sponsors of the Middle East settlement, as well representatives of the UN and the European Union. When this idea was discussed, none of the politicians with whom the Russian delegation met rejected it. Kosachev pointed out that the situation in the Middle East remains unstable and explosive. The consistent support of constructive forces which come out for a compromise, both in Israel and in Palestine, is the only possible reaction of the international community. It is necessary to firmly and in a coordinated manner insist, at the level of the UN, the European Union, the USA and Russian leaders, on the premise that only mutual concessions give a chance for a peaceful settlement, the Russian deputy believes. In addition, it is necessary to more clearly harmonise the stances with a view to resuming the negotiating process in all the three directions -- Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanian. Russia should play a great role in this, Kosachev said. All politicians, without exception, with whom the delegation met, pointed to the need of Russia's "returning" to the region, including the president of Syria, foreign ministers of Jordan and Israel, and the leader of Palestine. "The intensification of Russian efforts will be objectively of a constructive nature, since Russia, as distinct from the USA, does not have its own, pronounced interests in the region, except for the interests of peace but preserved a definite prestige there -- both in Israel and in the Arab countries", the deputy pointed out.

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