Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat has sent a message to President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov of Russia via Palestine's ambassador, Khairi al-Oridi. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov received the ambassador on Friday, ministry spokespeople said to RIA Novosti. But they would not reveal the content of Arafat's message. Today's has been the second Saltanov-al-Oridi meeting in the past few days. On December 5, the two diplomats also met on the ministry premises to discuss the latest outbreak of violence in the Middle East. At the Dec. 5 meeting, the Russian side called for measures to prevent further escalation of tension in the region, urging the Palestinian leaders to take more efficient steps toward cracking down on extremists and bringing an end to terror and violence. Khairi al-Oridi spoke in favor of Russia's continued effort toward Mideastern settlement and reiterated the Palestinian Authority's willingness to coordinate actions to achieve this goal.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea