Russian FM to visit Middle East to stem deterioration in region

March 11, 2008 21:09

Russia's foreign minister will head to the Middle East next week to help stem growing violence in the region and improve deteriorating relations between Israel and the Palestinians, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. Sergei Lavrov will visit Syria and Israel, as well as the Palestinian territories, ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement. During the March 19-21 visit, Lavrov will address "the problems with Palestinian-Israeli relations, ways out of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the suspension of violence, the resumption of negotiations aimed at the Palestinian-Israeli situation and other negotiating tracks, including the Syrian one," Kamynin said. In Paris, Lavrov told a news conference he would seek to understand "who is ready and who is not" for a Mideast conference Russia has offered to host in Moscow.

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