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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FLIES TO NEW YORK FOR MIDEAST QUARTET SESSION

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    MOSCOW, May 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov set off for New York for participation in the meeting of the quartet of international mediators for the Middle East settlement.

    The meeting of the quartet, which besides Russia includes the USA, EU and UN, will be held on Tuesday.

    It is expected that the key issue on the meeting's agenda will be the plan of unilateral delimitation with Palestine, proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    According to an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Yakovenko, "it's necessary to coordinate reaction on some new proposals on the ways out of the current deadlock, primarily on Mr. Sharon's initiative, which also includes the provision on the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip." Mr. Sharon's plan was discussed at a preliminary quartet meeting at a level of experts on April 30 in London. As a result of the meeting the Russian Foreign Minister's special envoy to the Middle East Alexander Kalugin, who represents Russian interests at the consultations, said that "Russia, the UN and EU do not object to Mr. Sharon's plan if a number of conditions are observed so that the plan wouldn't contradict the Road Map." The participants of the quartet meeting will be looking for answers whether Mr. Sharon's plan will tally with the Road Map and whether the Road Map can be launched in the nearest future.

    It is also planned that during Mr. Lavrov's short visit to New York he will meet with the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

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