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Russia urges Israel, Palestine to be patient

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, July 3 (UNI) Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov today urged Israel and Palestine to make efforts to restore peace in following the abduction of an Israeli soldier by Palestinians last week.

''We are witnessing another spiral of violence that must be stopped at all costs, which requires patience and wisdom from both sides,'' Mr Lavrov said after talks with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.

He called on the Palestinian leadership to stop violence aimed against Israeli towns and on Israel to show restraint, saying relations could only be normalised if both sides made efforts.

''Therefore, we call on the Israeli government to show the maximum restraint,'' Mr Lavrov said, adding that both conflicting sides and the international community should pursue a responsible policy to normalise the situation in West Asia.

''We hope the Road Map plan will be implemented,'' he said, pointing out his talks with Ms Livni would also hopefully bring some progress on the issue.

On her part, Ms Livni said Israel would not allow to make terrorism an instrument for attaining goals in West Asia.

She said the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinians last week had shown the ''real character'' of the radical Palestinian movement Hamas.

Ms Livni also held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Kremlin.

''It is a great pleasure that contacts with our Israeli counterparts are permanent and at a very high level,'' Mr Putin said and added he recently had a meeting with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Perez and spoke on the phone to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

UNI XC PA GC1908

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