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    Russia's foreign minister said a Moscow-hosted peace conference on the Middle East will be held in June or July, depending on the schedules of the countries taking part.

    MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister said a Moscow-hosted peace conference on the Middle East will be held in June or July, depending on the schedules of the countries taking part.

    Russia, a member of the Quartet of Mideast mediators, has stepped up its role in peace brokering in the region in recent years, and offered to host a conference in its capital as a follow up to last November's meeting in Annapolis, U.S.

    Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia and the other quartet members - the UN, the EU and the U.S. - would coordinate dates for the Moscow conference at a ministerial meeting in May.

    "The issues will receive close attention at the quartet's conference in London on economic support for Palestinians," the minister told reporters after an international conference on Iraq in Kuwait City.

    At the London talks, the quartet will discuss aid for people living in the Palestinian territories, and will talk to representatives from Arab League states "to see how the Palestinian-Israeli talks are progressing and how the Annapolis decisions are being implemented, and to discuss arrangements for the Moscow meeting."

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last Thursday he expected major breakthroughs to be reached at the Moscow talks.

    "We have high hopes that it will advance peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis, and prompt the launch of a comprehensive process of establishing peace in the Middle East, including in Syria and Lebanon," Abbas said during his visit to Moscow.

    The Russian foreign minister said London would also be hosting the next round of six-nation talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program.

    The six countries - the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany - have been involved in negotiations to persuade Iran to freeze uranium enrichment, which many countries fear is being used by Tehran as a cover for a nuclear weapons program.

    Lavrov said the 'Iran Six' meeting would take place on May 1-2 in the British capital.

    He said that at the previous meeting in Berlin the countries agreed to "work out further positive incentives for Iran."

    Iran has so far defied three rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program, and has alarmed the West with its regular announcements of new military developments.

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