Putin, Clinton Agree on Joint Action in Middle East
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Bill Clinton agreed on the need to coordinate peacemaking efforts in the Middle East during a telephone conversation Friday, Interfax reported.
Clinton also thanked Putin for Russia's support for this week's Sharm el-Sheikh peace summit, which produced a US-brokered accord aimed at ending spiralling Israeli-Palestinian violence, the Kremlin press service told the news agency.
"Both sides stressed the importance of coordinating Russian and the United States' actions in the Middle East peace process, especially in the current period of crisis," the Kremlin said.
Clashes have continued to rage between the Israeli military and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza despite appeals for calm following the summit.
Russia said it was not invited to the summit in the Egyptian resort even though it is officially a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process.
The phone conversation took place at Clinton's request, the Kremlin said.
Putin had planned also to talk by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak but that conversation was postponed at Barak's request, Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov as saying.
The US and Russian presidents also discussed bilateral issues in the context of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit scheduled later this month in Brunei, the Kremlin press service said -- MOSCOW (AFP)
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