Vice-Premier and Construction Minister of Israel Natan Sharanski has admitted the presence of differences between Israel and the United States on "very important problems" for Israel. At a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Sharanski said that it seems to certain American politicians that for success of the operation in Afghanistan tranquillity on other fronts is to be secured, above all not to exasperate Muslim countries. It thus follows that certain political forces in the United States conclude that steps which may aggravate relations between Israel and Palestine should not be taken. Israel does not occupy Palestinian territories but is only taking steps against terrorists, said Sharanski. "As soon as the goal of each concrete action is reached, our tanks will be withdrawn from the Palestinian territories", he said. At the same time, "even if we cannot agree with our American friends, this is not a pretext for conflict", said the Israeli vice-premier. "Strategically, we and the United States are allies", he said, adding that the United States and Israel have a system of common values. Simultaneously, Natan Sharanski admitted that the present differences with Washington concern "very important problems for Israel, since they bear on the security of citizens of Israel".
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea