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    MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Ways to achieve the Middle East peace settlement will be the centerpiece of Moscow talks of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his Palestinian counterpart Nabil Shaas, the Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

    Shaas's visit starts on January 21st and Moscow believes "it has acquired special importance because of the complicated situation in the Middle East." In order to change the situation for the better "all interested parties have to unite their efforts to resume negotiations," the ministry pointed out.

    Russia is positive that as first moves towards each other Israel and Palestine should do their utmost to cease violence and resume the dialogue. In this connection, "it is necessary to avoid unilateral action that would forestall the final status of Palestinian territories," the ministry believes. First of all, this concerns the "protection wall" Israel is building on Palestinian territory, which contradicts international legislation.

    During the talks Ivanov also intends to specify Russia's principal stand on current topical issues, including the problem of international terrorism and regional conflicts.

    Moreover, the ministry hopes that Shaas's visit will allow strengthening bilateral relations in all spheres.

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