Medvedev to discuss Middle East settlement with Palestinians
The Middle East peace process will be a key topic on the agenda of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the Palestinian territories on Tuesday, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said, RIA Novosti reported.
"Bilateral relations, political dialogue, and Russia's assistance to the Palestinians will be among the main issues for discussion," Prikhodko said.
Direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, which resumed last September after a 20-month standoff, collapsed in December after Israel refused to stop construction in the occupied West Bank.
Prikhodko emphasized that Russia wants members of the League of Arab States and, ideally, Palestinians and Israelis to join the Quartet of Middle East negotiators as soon as possible. The Quartet currently comprises Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the EU.
When asked about the Russian role in the Middle East peace process, Prikhodko said that Russia "does not consider itself a Messiah, but is ready to provide a responsible approach to the problem as uncoordinated efforts threaten to waste time."
The idea, recently put forward by Russia, of holding a peace conference on the Middle East is currently being discussed, but, so far, not all of the parties are ready for it, Prikhodko said.