MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian deputy foreign minister met with the Jordanian foreign minister in Amman Wednesday to discuss the escalating violence in the Middle East and means of ending it, the Russian ministry said.
During the talks, Alexander Saltanov and Abdul Ilah Khatib expressed their "shared concern over the sharply deteriorating situation in the Middle East. The continuing armed escalation between Israel and Lebanon, in which the destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure and the firing of rockets into Israeli territory continues, and the consequent loss of life, is a cause of particular alarm," the ministry said.
More than 200 people have been killed in Lebanon in seven days of Israeli missile and air strikes, while more than 20 Israelis have been killed in attacks mounted by militant group Hizbollah.
The diplomats exchanged views on how to establish conditions for a swift end to the bloodshed and to move the conflict into the diplomatic domain.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Russian citizens in Beirut would be evacuated to Syria as the conflict in neighboring Lebanon entered its second week.
"Today another group of more than 900 people will depart," Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station. "This is the main group evacuated to the north across the Syrian border, which will be later taken by an Emergency Situations Ministry plane from Syria to Russia."