Russia's proposal of Middle East meeting still stands - diplomat

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MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) -- Russia's proposal to conduct a high-level meeting of experts on the Middle East in Moscow at the end of this year remains in force, a Russian diplomat said Friday.

"Such a meeting under the aegis of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, the United States, the EU, and the UN) will support Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas and outline the prospects of a Middle East settlement," Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said on the eve of the quartet session scheduled for September 20.

The diplomat said Russia welcomed the cooperation between Israel and Palestine that had been established during the withdrawal of Israeli settlements from the Gaza.

It will help revive the negotiation process on all aspects of bilateral relations on the basis of the "road map" for peace, he added.

Kamynin also said the upcoming quartet meeting during the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in New York would analyze the situation in the region after Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza.

The participants of the meeting will also discuss how to preserve and strengthen the positive developments in Israeli-Palestinian relations and how to push them forward following the provisions of the "road map."

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