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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY FOR ROAD MAP IMPLEMENTATION

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    MOSCOW, January 23rd, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Protasenko) - The road map plan is the specific plan of the Mideastern settlement that should be implemented in practice, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at a press conference devoted to the Moscow visit of the French foreign minister on Friday.

    Once implemented, this plan should result in the formation of two countries that will live in peace and security, said the Russian minister.

    It is a common task, facing not only Russia and France, but the international community as a whole, to have this plan implemented, said Igor Ivanov.

    The Russian foreign minister noted that Russia attached importance to achieving the ceasefire agreement and launching negotiations between the prime ministers of the conflicting sides.

    The recent visit of Nabil Shaas has shown that the Palestinians are ready to start the peace process, said Ivanov. In this connection, the minister voiced the intention of working with the Israeli side.

    French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin in turn expressed complete agreement with Russia's position on the issue. According to him, the road map plan should be promoted at all costs. The French foreign minister also stressed that the security fence creation could seriously stall the settlement process.

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