Russia's deputy foreign minister Aleksander Saltanov has spoken out in favour of taking urgent measures to curb violence, provide for a stable interaction in the area of security and resume political dialogue in the Middle East. The Russian foreign ministry's information and press department reported on a meeting between Saltanov and Palestine's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Moscow Khairi al-Oridi who were discussing ways of resolving the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Russian minister reiterated that the Mitchell plan is crucial for bringing the Mideastern developments to normal. If taken, the measures vital for implementing the plan would promote a comprehensive and fair settlement in the Middle East and give the Palestinian people the right to have an independent state, emphasized Saltanov. The ambassador, on his part, deemed it necessary to further intensify related international efforts, and praised the steps Russia is taking in the Middle East as a co-sponsor to the peace settlement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart