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     Unofficial translation from Russian

On Talks of the Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov with the Foreign Minister of Egypt Ahmed Maher

    On May 17 the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov held talks with the Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ahmed Maher now in Moscow on a working visit.

    In discussing the crisis situation in the Middle East, the sides stressed the need of maintaining a constructive interaction of all the parties concerned in the interests of an early end to the Palestinian-Israel confrontation. In this connection, the sides noted the special significance of active efforts by the international "Four" whose participants favor parallel steps in solving the problems of security, resuming the negotiating process and restoring the social-economic infrastructure on the Palestinian territories.

    Unanimous opinion was expressed on the importance of preventing an escalation of tensions in the area of the Lebanese-Israeli border.

    The sides confirmed that the resumed movement toward a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement must rely on the basic principles of the Middle Eastern peace process begun in 1991 in Madrid, above all on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the existing agreements and arrangements as well as on UN Security Council Revolution 1397 and the peace initiative of Saudi Arabia, approved by the Arab summit in Beirut. In this context the idea of holding an international conference on the Middle East was examined.

    The Ministers said they favored an early settlement of the Iraqi problem by exclusively political-diplomatic efforts, based on implementing the appropriate UN Security Council resolutions.

    Special attention was given to the subject area related to opposing international terrorism and settlement of the conflict in the south of the Sudan and so on.

    There has been substantive discussion of issues of further development of the friendly Russian-Egyptian relations, first and foremost with a view to implementing the arrangements reached during the visit to Moscow by the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Hosni Mubarak in April 2001 and to using all the reserves and opportunities available for expanding the mutual advantageous cooperation.

May 17, 2002

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