Moscow Calls On The Palestinian National Authority To Take Effective Anti-terrorist Measures

Russia's Foreign Ministry has called on the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority to take effective anti-terrorist measures, the ministry's official representative Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement, distributed on Monday. The statement censured the recent terrorist act in Israel in which terrorists fired at a bus in Jerusalem, killing two and injuring several dozen people. "No arguments can justify passiveness and hesitation in punishing criminals," it said. "The situation can be normalised only by putting an end to terrorist acts and other kinds of violence." The statement pointed out that Israeli authorities must conclude the withdrawal of troops from Palestinian towns as soon as possible and stop the practice of out-of-court punishment. The Foreign Ministry representative proposed "directing the situation into a political channel as soon as possible, establishing a stable high-level dialogue and close interaction on security issues, and fulfil recommendations of the Mitchell commission, approved by both sides, including the resumption of negotiations on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement." In this context, the Russian Foreign Ministry positively assesses the on-going contacts between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres. "Russia will continue assisting, in every way, the achievement of these goals in order to restore the Middle East peace process," the statement emphasised.

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