medvedev in turkey 311.
(photo credit: AP)
ANKARA, Turkey —
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged the United States on Wednesday
to actively work to achieve peace in the Mideast with the support of
other nations, and hinted that no one should be excluded from the peace process, including Hamas..
comment appeared to indicate Moscow's willingness to become an active
Middle East mediator. On Tuesday, during a visit to Syria, Medvedev said Israeli-Arab
tensions threaten to draw the Middle East into a new catastrophe, adding
Moscow's weight to a diplomatic push to ease antagonism between Israel
"The United States must be active and other nations
must contribute," Medvedev told a joint news conference in Ankara with
Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
Washington recently launched
US-mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but signs
of trouble already have emerged. On Monday, Israel said it doesn't
intend to halt construction of Jewish housing in east Jerusalem. The
Palestinians accused Israel of undermining trust and urged US President
Barack Obama to intervene.
Medvedev said no one should be
excluded from the Mideast peace process, a clear reference to exiled
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who met with the Russian president in
Damascus on Tuesday.
"We have to include all conflicting parties
and not exclude anyone from this process," Medvedev said.
Russian president said countries that are not close to the region also
have "responsibilities" to work for peace in the entire Mideast.
Russia - between terrorism and foreign policy
"We are facing
a human tragedy in Gaza, so that there is need for more efforts, even
though we can't solve all problems," Medvedev said.
Gul said the
Mideast conflict is the source of "unrest" in many parts of the world
and must be stopped.
Medvedev also said Iran must "adopt a
constructive approach in some way," as the US and its allies rally for
new UN sanctions against Teheran regarding its nuclear program. Iran has
denied charges that it is secretly building nuclear weapons.
Mideast must be a region cleared from nuclear weapons," Medvedev said.
"The use of nuclear weapons in the region would be a disaster."
said Russia would hold talks with Iran and Israel on the issue.
Tuesday, Russia urged Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty and open up its long-established but unannounced nuclear arsenal
to the UN monitoring agency.
Israel's officially unacknowledged
arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear weapons is the only such stockpile in the
Russia expands involvement in Turkey
Wednesday, Turkey and Russia were to sign a series of cooperation
agreements in trade and tourism, including the lifting of entry visas in
a bid to further bring the former Cold War era rivals closer.
and Gul vowed to triple the bilateral trade volume to around US$100
billion in the next five years.
Turkey, a US ally, served as
NATO's foremost base during the Cold War but has seen its relations
rapidly develop with Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
said several new energy projects are on the agenda, including a
pipeline that could pump Russian oil from Turkey's Black Sea coast to
the Mediterranean and construction of its first nuclear power plant with
Medvedev, meanwhile, supported reconciliation
efforts between Turkey and Armenia while acknowledging that "it is a