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Russia to try and move forward Middle East peace talks

Feb. 8, 2013 6:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 10, 2013 6:45 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Russia will try to break through the stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Russian foreign ministry said Friday.

A cabinet meeting on Feb. 20 will be dedicated to discuss possible means break through the stalemate and resume negotiations, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevic said in a statement.

The Arab League and Arab countries will be consulted on every detail, the statement added.

The foreign ministry also warned of a possible deterioration in light of the unilateral procedures Israel is carrying out, namely settlement activities.

"The situation in the Palestinian territory is still high-strung as Israel continues with settlement activities. A few days ago, an Israeli court decided to evacuate a Palestinian family from its house in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and on Feb. 5 Israeli bulldozers demolished a two-story house in Beit Hanina neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

"Furthermore, Israeli forces detained Palestinians in the West Bank including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council."

The statement added that Russia has been trying over the past few months to activate the international Middle East Quartet at a ministerial level because the ongoing meetings at representatives level are insufficient. "However, our partners are haggling and would not give a specific date for ministerial meetings."

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