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    ISRAELI VICE-PREMIER TO DISCUSS MIDDLE EAST SETTLEMENT IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 13 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli deputy prime minister and minister of industry, trade and communications Ehud Olmert will meet on Friday, January 13, with Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov.

    The sides will focus on the Mideast settlement. Olmert said on the eve of his Moscow visit that Israel was interested in that Russia could influence the development of the situation in the Middle East. According to the deputy prime minister, he is going to speak about the stand of the Israeli government in the light of the recent changes being observed on the political scene.

    In particular, information will be given on the Israeli unilateral steps to separate from Palestine, including the concept of liquidating 17 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the construction of a "dividing wall" in the West Bank.

    Speaker for the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti that "taking into account the influential role Olmert plays in determining the important spheres of the Israeli government's activity" the sides will discuss the key regional and international issues, including the situation in the Middle East.

    Russia comes out for the termination of the power confrontation and for settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict by political means, Yakovenko pointed out. The implementation of the Roadmap worked out by the four international intermediaries (Russia, the United States, the UN, the EU) without delay creates the possibility for this.

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