Moscow welcomes US President's suggestions concerning Mideastern peace process

In general, Moscow welcomes George W. Bush's approach to the Mideastern peace process, which the US President outlined in his speech, Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, has been quoted as saying.

In his statement, the Russian official stressed that the US approach signified America's determination to energetically contribute to the settlement of the situation in the region and to the resumption of peace process.

"Russia shares such a determination," the Foreign Ministry's official spokesman stressed.

At the same time, Yakovenko said the US President's suggestions "require further analyses due to an extreme difficulty and ambiguity of the situation's development." However, at present, it is possible to say that many US suggestions coincide with Russian ones. This primarily refers to the necessity to effectively fight terrorism, reform the PNA /Palestinian National Authority/, withdraw Israeli troops and settlers, create the Palestinian state and finally settle the crisis in line with Resolutions 242 and 338 issued by the UN Security Council.

Russia is ready to continue to cooperate with the USA, the EU /European Union/ and the UN in order to finally settle the situation in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement reads.

The other day, Alexander Yakovenko held a press conference. He said that the statement by US President George W. Bush did not specifically outline the necessity to oust Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The Russian diplomat stated that according to latest data, Yasser Arafat had also welcomed Bush's speech, which Moscow also greeted. Yakovenko believes that George W, Bush's plans to reform the Palestinian leadership was very "broad." In this regard, the high-ranking diplomat stated that certain points of the Bush plan ought to be cleared up.

Yakovenko said that Moscow planed to discuss US President's speech between the four mediators in the Mideastern peace process "giving much account to the spirit of the Russo-American joint statement on the Middle East, which was signed at the Moscow summit between Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush." Meanwhile, Andrei Vdovin, Russian Foreign Ministry's special envoy to the Middle East, has set out for the region to take part in relevant consultations.

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