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Moscow Mideast conference to be held by yearend - Medvedev

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Moscow Mideast conference to be held by yearend - Medvedev  - Sputnik International
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A Middle East peace conference is due to be held in Moscow by the end of 2009, the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev told journalists in Cairo on Tuesday.

CAIRO, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - A Middle East peace conference is due to be held in Moscow by the end of 2009, the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev told journalists in Cairo on Tuesday.

"We hope that we will continue our shared cooperation in this sphere... and the international conference on the Middle East, which we plan to hold before the end of the year in Moscow, will contribute to achieving this objective," Dmitry Medvedev said following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak.

Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, comprise the Middle East Quartet of intermediaries which are seeking a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The situation, unfortunately, has not improved recently because what happened at the start of this year obviously did not increase trust as military action never brings calm," the Russian president said.

Talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, launched after a peace conference hosted by then U.S. president George Bush in November 2007, stalled following an Israeli offensive on Gaza in December which left 1,300 Palestinians dead and 5,000 others injured.

Medvedev said that negotiations on the Middle East issue were complicated and Russia appreciates Egypt's backing for the Moscow conference.

"We highly appreciate all the efforts taken by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak," he said.

Mubarak said in turn that Egypt had confirmed its unreserved backing for Russia's proposal on the conference.

"I am in favor of Russia continuing to play a role in the quartet of intermediaries as well as beyond it," Mubarak said.

The Hamas and Fatah movements, the largest political organizations in Palestine, split in June 2007 when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and pushed the Fatah movement out of the enclave of 1.5 million. Hamas has since remained in power in Gaza, independent of the officially recognized government of Fatah in the West Bank, which is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

 

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