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    Russia-Israel Ties Unaffected by Moscow Supporting UN Resolution on Settlements

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    The UN Security Council voted 14-0 in December, with the United States abstaining, to pass a resolution calling on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian support for an anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution will not affect bilateral ties, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "This decision will not affect our relations with Russia in any way," Koren said.

    The UN Security Council voted 14-0 in December, with the United States abstaining, to pass a resolution calling on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Tel Aviv criticized the resolution and refused to abide by its provisions.

    Israel Making No Preconditions for Netanyahu-Abbas Meeting

    Israel is making no preconditions for the meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Koren told Sputnik.

    "I would like to assess positively Russia’s proposal [to organize such meeting], many other countries offered to hold such summit … but as you know, prime minister Netanyahu has said several times that it would be easier to hold these talks in Jerusalem, even in Ramallah. I think we shall come around to the resolution of this issue, but our side never had any issues. The Palestinian side is always making preconditions," the ambassador said.

    According to Koren, Israel agrees with Russia in the need to hold bilateral talks with Palestine without preconditions.

    "Israel is never putting forward any conditions, Palestinians do … The future of the Netanyahu-Abbas talks depends on Palestine’s position. We see that Russia is making efforts," Koren stressed.

    Preparation of Israel-Russia Contacts on Countering Terrorism Underway

    Israel is satisfied with its cooperation with Russian servicemen, preparation for Israeli-Russian contacts on the issue of countering terrorism is underway, Koren told Sputnik.

    "We are satisfied with the level of contacts between our servicemen, it is currently rather high and intensive. We are thankful to the Russian side, the mechanism works well," Koren said when asked about cooperation to counter terrorism.

    Accoridng to the ambassador, Israel is ready to share information, "there are certain communications channels, there will be meetings, visits are being prepared to discuss such issues."

    "I hope that 2017 will be the year of certain contacts on the operative level, these are the contacts similar to the ones on Syria. Aside from this, the general staffs of Russia and Israel are in regular contact in Syria, it is quite intensive," Koren said.

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    United Nations, Gary Koren, Palestine, Israel, Russia
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