On May 2nd the Group of Four is to meet in Washington to settle the Middle East situation. Alexander Yakovenko, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said as much. According to him, the participants are to discuss the political ways of settling the problem on the basis of resolutions Nos. 242 and 338 of the UN Security Council and the "land for peace" principle that is the base of the 1991 Madrid conference. Yakovenko said that "it is essential to hastily implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1402 and 1403" to settle the Middle East crisis. According to the diplomat, the upcoming meeting is important "to coordinate joint efforts of all the concerned parties to find a solution how to settle the Middle East crisis." The Washington meeting is expected to host Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23