Source Pravda.Ru

Russian reaction to meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister and Palestinian Minister of Local Governance

Moscow believes that a meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Minister of Local Governance Saeb Erekat is "a step in the right direction." Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, made this statement on Tuesday in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The meeting between delegations consisting of representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian governments took place on July 20th in Israel.

Reportedly, this is the first such meeting between the Israelis and Palestinians to give visible results after a long interval. The Israeli side promised to take steps to improve the situation of the Palestinian population. The sides also touched on issues concerning financial relations between Israel and Palestine.

"Of course, these steps deal only with a part of problems between Israel and Palestine," Yakovenko stated. Israel demands that the Palestinians should improve their anti-terrorist activities, while the Palestinians expect Israel to withdraw its troops from Palestinian towns, which should be the beginning of the effort to resume peace process.

"The mere fact that the sides met to discuss constructively the issues troubling both Israel and Palestine is considered in Moscow a step in the right direction," the official emphasised.

"Both the Palestinians and the Israelis ought to continue to establish direct cooperation trying not to take steps that could aggravate the situation," Moscow believes.

"In particular, it is extremely important to suppress all terrorist actions, while the Israeli side ought not to carry out such actions as explosions in residential areas and deportations of relatives of those suspected of contacts with terrorists," the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.