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Russian, Israeli presidents to discuss Mideast in Sochi

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MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and Israeli presidents will meet in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Tuesday to discuss bilateral ties and the situation in the Middle East, a Kremlin source said.

The meeting between Dmitry Medvedev and Shimon Peres, who will be visiting Russia for the first time since he assumed office in July 2007, will be informal, the official told RIA Novosti.

"The talks with the Israeli president will be centered on the situation in the Middle East, which is of serious concern to Russia," he said.

The discussions will focus on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and preparations for an international conference on the Middle East due to be held in Moscow by the end of 2009.

Russia is involved in the Mideast peace process as a member of the Quartet of mediators, along with the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union.

The sides will also discuss the development of bilateral relations, including cooperation in advanced technology, and the prospects for adopting new agreements on investment protection.

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