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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY DENOUNCES JERUSALEM TERRORIST ATTACK

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    MOSCOW, February 22, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexei Bogdanovsky) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly denounced the terrorist attack that took place in Jerusalem on Sunday, reads the statement of the ministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko received by RIA Novosti.

    "Moscow strongly denounces another terrorist raid, the goal of which is clear: to block any opportunity of progress towards peace and fulfilling the Road Map plan of the Middle East peace settlement," the document reads.

    In the morning of February 22nd, a suicide bomber triggered an explosive device on a bus in Jerusalem. According to available information, 9 people were killed and over 60 injured, Yakovenko recalled.

    "We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and sympathy to the injured. We urge the Palestinian authorities to take all possible measures to prevent extremist activities, and Israel to refrain from disproportional use of force and any unilateral moves that would disrupt the efforts to restore the negotiation process," the ministry's representative added.

    According to Yakovenko, "the parties should go back to the logic of coordinated steps towards each other both in the security sphere and in other areas".

    "The meeting between the Palestinian and Israeli Prime Ministers, which is currently being prepared, could give a serious impulse for this work, and Moscow hopes that terrorists will not be able to prevent it," the Russian ministry points out.

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