Putin Condemns ‘Terrorism’ after Jerusalem Blast
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday condemned "terrorism" after a suicide bombing in Jerusalem that wounded 13 people, as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ruled out any peace talks with the Palestinians, said AFP.
In a show of understanding for Israel's response to the 11-month Palestinian uprising against 34 years of military occupation, Putin stressed the need to find a political solution.
The Russian president added that "nothing can justify terrorist acts against civilians."
Opening Kremlin talks with Sharon, Putin said that Russia was "watching with alarm what is happening" in the Middle East, "especially considering that a large part of Israeli citizens come from the former Soviet Union and Russia.
"We are not indifferent to the fate of these people. We want them to live in conditions of peace, prosperity and security," he added, hours after a suicide bomber staged a blast in Jerusalem Tuesday morning.
Putin also underlined Moscow's continued links to the Arab World and the Palestinians, saying this meant it could play a useful mediating role.
Reflecting Moscow's struggle to strike a balance in its post-Soviet role in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov earlier urged Sharon to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
Israel’s Army Radio reported that Sharon asked Ivanov to pressure Syria to act against the “anti-Israel terror emanating from southern Lebanon.”
The aim will be to build on existing relationships between the two countries and explain "Israel's outstanding need to fight against terror," Sharon aide Raanan Gissin said.
Sharon also aired his concerns over the possible spread of weapons of mass destruction to countries such as Iran or Iraq, said the report.
Russia has gone ahead with assistance to Iran's domestic nuclear energy program, despite US and Israeli fears that it could have military applications - Albawaba.com
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