Russia's Andrei Vdovin, ambassador at large and the foreign minister's special envoy, who arrived in Cairo Saturday from Amman, is to hold today talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's political adviser Osama Al-Baz, other Egyptian government officials and League of Arab States (LAS) secretary- general Amr Moussa. High on the agenda will be termination of another violence spiral in the Middle East. This is the Russian envoy's fifth visit to the region after his consultations in Israel and Jordan, with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza and on the territory of the Palestinian National Authority over a period since the summer of 2001. Russia has maintained its peace-building efforts in close cooperation with the USA, the European Union and UN whose special envoys have frequented the Middle East with similar missions, according to Egypt's MENA agency. In the course of the conference with Andrei Vdovin last Friday, Jordan's Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah al-Khatib welcomed the contribution made by the envoys from Russia, the USA, European countries and the world community as a whole to the performance of the Mitchell Commission's recommendations on Mideastern settlement with a prospect of peace talks. In the opinion of Osama Al-Baz, this increasingly notable cooperation enables one to hope that the Palestinian administration and the Israeli government will come to an agreement. Andrei Vdovin plans to leave Cairo for Tel Aviv Monday.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea