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    The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow

    Russian Foreign Ministry Concerned With Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Pause

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (462)
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    Russia is concerned about the pause in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which will undermine the prospects of settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is concerned about the current situation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as the long pause in the dialogue may provoke some unilateral decisions, which will undermine the prospects of settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "Moscow is deeply concerned about the situation in the Israeli-Palestinian settlement. The situation on the ground steadily deteriorates, as both the Palestinians and Israelis have not been in talks for nearly three years. Vacuum in the Middle East peace process creates a favorable ground for some unilateral steps that undermine the prospects of the internationally recognized solution to the Palestinian problem, prescribing that the two states — Israel and Palestine — will coexist in peace and security," the ministry said in a statement.

    The ministry confirmed Moscow's commitment to the comprehensive settlement based on the two-state principle, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

    "At the same time, we consider it necessary to say that in this regard we consider West Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel," the statement said.

    Relations between Israel and Palestine have been shattered for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and builds settlements on the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations. The Gaza Strip is under control of the Hamas movement, which seeks independence of Palestine.

    Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1949, but the United Nations recognizes East Jerusalem, including the Old City, to be part of Palestine. In 1967, Israel recaptured East Jerusalem from the neighboring Arab nation of Jordan.

    The most recent round of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians was initiated by the United States in mid-2013 but ended in an impasse almost a year later.

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (462)

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    peace process, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry, Palestine, Israel, Russia
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