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    ISRAEL LIKES SERGEI LAVROV'S FOREIGN MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT

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    TEL AVIV, March 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The appointment of Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Sergei Lavrov as the Russian foreign minister has been received with satisfaction in Israel, as follows from the poll carried out by the Ma'ariv newspaper among Israeli diplomats.

    Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ehuda Lankri emphasised "the sober-minded and weighted-out approach" of the Russian Lavrov-led delegation in the UN to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

    Arye Mekel, aide to the Israeli ambassador to the UN, voiced the opinion that thanks to Lavrov Russia has refused to recognise the power of The Hague International Court of Justice to eye the legitimacy of building by Israel the separation wall on the border with the Palestinian authority.

    Poll participants also noted Lavrov's efficient cooperation with the Israeli mission in the United Nations in hammering out Russia's position on the Roadmap plan for peaceful settlement.

    In the Ma'ariv's opinion, Lavrov's attitude towards Israel has always been "objective and weighted-out".

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