Alexander Saltanov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, received Khairi al-Oridi, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia, with Mideastern developments coming to an edge, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press and information department. The ambassador called Russia to remain active on the settlement cause. Palestinian leaders are willing to coordinate related efforts, he reassured. Together with the USA--other Mideastern settlement co-sponsor, Russia has joined hands with the European Union, the United Nations and other interested parties to stop escalating Mideastern tensions and bring the situation back to normal. No efforts must be spared to prevent the Palestinian situation, dangerous as it is, getting from bad to worse, said Mr. Saltanov as he called the Palestinian top to step up efforts against extremism, terror and violence, and put an end to those evils. That is the greatest necessity to improve the situation, stressed the diplomat. Moscow is calling Israel to act with the utmost circumspection lest the developments irreparably get out of control. The internationally recognised Palestinian leadership and the Israeli government must stay true to their pledges to stop the conflict proceeding from the Mitchell-Tennet plan. That is the only practicable way to stop the confrontation, as Russia's Foreign Ministry sees it.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land