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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 6, 2004. /RIA Novosti/ -- Moscow is concerned over Israel's decision to endorse a three-year development program for the Golan-heights region. This was disclosed to RIA Novosti on Tuesday in Moscow at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Information and Press.

    Tel Aviv is making official statements to the effect that this program aims to enhance Israeli presence on the Golan heights, which are perceived as an inalienable part of Israel's territory, Russian diplomats noted.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that such Israeli actions run counter to international-law norms, which regulate the status of occupied territories. Moreover, these actions undermine the international community's efforts to ensure a comprehensive Mideastern peace settlement; among other things, this concerns the so-called Syrian trek, which is a highly important aspect of the regional peace settlement, Russian Foreign Ministry officials stressed.

    Moscow still remains convinced that well-known UN Security Council resolutions, i.e. resolutions 242 and 338, as well as the land-for-peace principle (that was endorsed by the Madrid conference), constitute the foundation of this settlement.

    The three-year development program for the Golan heights was endorsed December 30th by the Israeli governmental commission for kibbutzim affairs. This program stipulates the allocation of more than $70 million for expanding various housing-infrastructure, industrial-infrastructure and tourist-infrastructure facilities on the Golan heights. Plans are in place to build 900 new homes and to double the number of local Israeli settlers, as well.

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