On Tuesday Andrei Vdovin, special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced to journalists in the wake of his meeting in Cairo with Amr Musa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States (LAS) that "it was necessary to apply efforts of all interested countries and international community" to lessen tension in Palestinian-Israeli relations. According to the Russian diplomat, Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestinian National Authority, "had to continue undertaking the steps which he announced recently in order to lessen sufferings of the Palestinian people and to reach new political horizons which would facilitate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state". While talking about the meeting with Amr Musa, the special Russian Foreign minister's envoy on Middle Eastern settlement indicated that "fruitful and comprehensive negotiations took place in relation to the present complicated situation existing in the area of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict". On 6 January Andrei Vdovin commenced his tour of the Middle-East countries. According to the information provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the tour "was being carried out in order to follow up on efforts being undertaken by the Russian co-sponsor to facilitate unblocking of the conflict situation in the region and to restore movement towards the all-encompassing Arab-Israeli settlement."