Reaching a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict in two years is a "realistic objective," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday during his visit to the West Bank.
The Middle East Quartet of negotiators, comprising Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, said in a statement during their meeting in March that a new peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians may be reached within 24 months.
"If everyone shows good will and mutual trust, if all international negotiators actively push the sides towards reconciliation, this goal is quite realistic," Lavrov said after a meeting with PNA leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The statement came several hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he saw no opportunity to settle the conflict by 2012.
Abbas said, in his turn, that he believed in the peace process.
"We believe in the peace process and are interested in completing it as soon as possible. A prompt peace solution is in the interests of Israelis, Palestinians and the whole world," Abbas said.
He reiterated his readiness to start direct talks with Israel as soon as the two sides reach "at least some progress in questions of border and security."
Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks came to a halt in December 2008, when Israel launched an attack on the Gaza Strip in a bid to put an end to the firing of homemade rockets at southern Israel by Palestinian militants based in the enclave. The conflict left 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.
Palestinians have so far cited ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as a main obstacle to resuming peace talks.
In March, the Arab League supported the U.S.-backed initiative of holding Israeli-Palestinian indirect talks. Israel, a major United States ally in the Middle East, has also welcomed the talks.
RAMALLAH, June 29 (RIA Novosti)