The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs points to the closeness of Russia's and India's appraisals of the situation in the Middle East and of the approaches of the two countries to the problem of settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A RIA Novosti correspondent was told in the press and information department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that on May 16th Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Saltanov and Indian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs R. Kumar, who had arrived in Moscow, conducted consultations on the problems of the Middle East settlement. During these consultations the sides pointed out that terrorist and armed methods had no prospects and could not lead to a long-term and just solution of the problem of relations between the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. The sides came out for preventing a new escalation of the confrontation on Palestinian territories and for taking steps towards easing the tension in order to strengthen the tendency for stabilising the situation. Alexander Saltanov pointed out that a stable normalisation of the situation can be achieved by moving to the accomplishment of three main tasks: to strengthen security, to resume the negotiations and to rehabilitate the social and economic infrastructure on Palestinian territories. In so doing it is necessary to ensure advance to the final goal - the creation of a Palestinian state and of the guarantees of safety to the existence of Israel. The sides have confirmed their adherence to the basic international legal principles of an all-embracing settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict: to the formula - "land in exchange for peace," Resolutions 242 and 338 of the United Nations Security Council, and also Resolution 1397 of the Security Council and the Saudi peace initiative which was approved at the Arab summit in Beirut.
Negotiations are underway on the use of airfields in Cuba, Venezuela and Algeria. South Africa, Syria and Egypt are likely to join the list