Russian FM Calls on Sharon to Resume Dialogue with Palestinians
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Tuesday called on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to resume negotiations with the Palestinians as the two officials began talks in Moscow, the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
Russia, as a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process, wants to see "a halt to violence and the resumption of dialogue on the basis of existing proposals to find a way out of the present situation," Ivanov was quoted as saying by AFP.
Moscow supports the Mitchell plan, drafted by a commission led by former US senator George Mitchell, which recommends a six-week cooling-off period, followed by confidence-building measures, a freeze on developing Jewish settlements and, ultimately, a return to political negotiations.
Sharon was later to meet with President Vladimir Putin after paying his respects at the tomb of the unknown soldier on Moscow's Red Square, and then hold talks with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.
The Israeli premier arrived in Moscow late Monday and is due to leave on Thursday.
His visit led to the cancellation of Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani’s trip to Moscow, which was scheduled for Tuesday – Albawaba.com
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