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    PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL PRAISES RUSSIA'S STANCE ON MIDEASTERN SETTLEMENT

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    DAMASCUS, JANUARY 22, 2004 (from RIA Novosti's Alexander Krasnov) - The Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLB), Naif Hawatmeh, praised Russia's stance on Mideastern settlement as he spoke to Russian reporters in Damascus Thursday.

    In Nawatmeh's view, Russia pursues a balanced policy in mediating between Israel and its Arab neighbors in line with relevant international resolutions.

    By acting as it does in Palestinian-administered territories, Israel grossly abuses the international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from destroying life support facilities in the area occupied and committing violence against local inhabitants, the DFLB official pointed out. He said that the Palestinian people would not relent in what they see as a just war against Israel's invasion and colonization of their land.

    Nawatmeh called upon the Mideast Quartet to take measures to enforce the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1515. He also spoke out for the deployment of an international stabilization force in Palestinian-controlled territories, as had been the case in Bosnia and in East Timor.

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