Source Pravda.Ru

Russian senator: international conference on Middle East unlikely to be fruitful

The international conference on the Middle East settlement, which is to be held this July, will not manage to reconcile Israel and Palestina, Chairman of the Federation Council (the parliament's upper chamber) Committee on Foreign Affairs Mikhail Margelov believes.

"The conference is unlikely to be as significant as the Helsinki conference of 1975 or the Conference on security and cooperation in Europe," the official announced at a press conference in Moscow.

According to Margelov, this is conditioned by rather obstinate and firm a stand that the Israelis take at present. Israel agrees only on establishing "certain cantons" and supports the US idea of proclaiming "a transitory state." Arafat was already leader of such a temporary state, which comprised territories under the PNA's control, Margelov recalled.

Arafat is ready to hold municipal election at the end of this year, and parliamentary one at the beginning of next year, Margelov said. If the elections are carried out the European Council will send its observers there.

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