Moscow Perplexed Over Israeli Prime Minister's Statement About Policy Of Pacifying Arabs At The Expense Of Israel's Interests

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's statement about a policy of pacifying Arabs at the expense of Israel's interests has caused perplexity in Moscow, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry has said. Alexander Yakovenko expressed "conviction that the active formation of a broad international anti-terrorist coalition meets the interests of all countries, including Israel." He added that terrorism has no nationality and that Arab countries and the Islamic world suffer from this global evil not less than, say, Americans, Russians or Israelis. The spokesman said that in the difficult situation shaping up in the Middle East "one should avoid polemics that may only heighten tensions." Special emphasis must be made on a search for ways to normalize the situation around the Palestinian territories and on efforts to establish Palestinian-Israeli contacts with a view to beginning a political dialogue within the frameworks of the Mitchell plan's implementation, Yakovenko said.

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