On Tuesday chairman of the Council of Federation international committee Mikhail Margelov, who is taking part in the PACE Political Committee session in Paris, has left for the Middle East under the committee's instructions in order to monitor the situation there, he said in an interview with a RIA Novosti correspondent. The Council of Federation is the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.
Margelov is expected to spend the whole week in Israel and on Palestinian territories.
Within the mission, Margelov held a meeting with Israeli ambassador to the Council of Europe Yitzhak Eldan in Paris on Monday.
In the coming two days Margelov is to meet Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, chairman of the Knesset's international affairs and defense committee Haim Ramon, deputy prime minister Natan Sharansky and leader of one of the "Russian" parties, "Our home - Israel" Avigdor Liberman, a RIA Novosti correspondent in Tel Aviv reported.
Margelov also intends to visit Ramallah, where he has scheduled meetings with head of the Palestinian National Administration Yasser Arafat and a number of prominent Palestinian politicians.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre