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     17.04.2002

PRESS RELEASE
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov Speaks to Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ahmed Maher by Telephone

     A telephone conversation took place on April 16 between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ahmed Maher.

     Citing the fact that the most critical moment is now probably evolving in Middle East developments, Maher asked to make somewhat later his working visit to Moscow, previously scheduled for April 17. In discussing the situation around the Palestinian territories, the sides spoke decisively for an immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops and commencement of the implementation of the Tenet-Mitchell scheme. They expressed concern about the fact that in spite of the efforts now being made to unblock the conflict, the situation remains extremely tense. The ministers also touched on the theme that has begun to sound lately of holding in some form or other an international conference on the Middle East.

     Ahmed Maher gave a high assessment to the role of Russia in Middle Eastern affairs, particularly with respect to the consolidation of the positions of the international Quartet in the interest of overcoming the present crisis in the region.

April 16, 2002



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