Russia is determined to work consistently for Palestinian independence, said Alexander Saltanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as he was addressing a gala evening on International Day of Solidarity with Palestine. To promote a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue at a high political level, and to gradually put an end to confrontation are Russia's basic current diplomatic goals. The situation has come to an edge, and it takes concerted international efforts to settle the conflict. That is why Russia is steadily working for closer ties with the USA in the Middle East, said Mr. Saltanov as he called the Four--Russia, the USA, the European Union and the United Nations--for dynamic action. Russia is determined to carry on close partnership with Arab countries--Egypt and Jordan, above all. Russia is consistently working for Palestinians' national rights implemented--in particular, the right of independent statehood, said the vice-minister as he called for compliance with all available international understandings, among them the Madrid, with their peace-for-land principle. Russia's President Vladimir Putin forwarded a congratulatory message to Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority leader and head of the PLO Executive Committee, to pronounce for the Mideastern issue justly settled, added Alexander Saltanov.
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