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Putin, Olmert discuss West Aisa situation after Hamas talks

Written by: Staff

Moscow, Mar 5 (UNI) Russian President Vladimir Putin today held telephonic discussions with Israeli Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on peace process in West Asia.

The telephnic conversation took place after the Russian President's talks with a Hamas delegation led by group's political bureau head Khaled Meshaal.

''They discussed in detail the prospects of West Asia, in the light of recent Moscow negotiations with a Hamas delegation and Iran,'' the Kremlin Press Service reported, saying the talks were initiated by the Russian side.

Mr Putin and Mr Olmert also discussed Russian-Israeli cooperation and the two sides confirmed their commitment to further develop friendly and constructive relations, the press office said.

Meanwhile, the Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church Alexy II met the Hamas delegation today and urged the militant Islamic group to recognise Israel.

''We have always expressed support for UN decisions that Palestine and Israel have a chance to exist in the Middle East,'' the Patriarch said adding, ''We have always advocated that Palestinians have the right to establish their own state.'' ''I am convinced that there is no alternative to the dialogue and it should be continued,'' Itar-Tass quoted him as saying.

On his part, Mr Meshaal said that this approach ''finds understanding and reciprocity among Palestinians.'' UNI XC PM RR DB2125

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