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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Syria, Israel
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 19-21 to discuss holding a Mideast meeting in Moscow, a ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement the issue of a Middle East meeting is being discussed with the Palestinians, the Israelis, countries involved in mediating the conflict and members of the Arab League.

"Many of our partners confirm they are interested in holding an international Middle East meeting in Moscow," he said, adding the event is being arranged "to stop setbacks in the peace process, and give the sides a chance to deliver their Annapolis commitments."

Kamynin said the Middle East is undergoing increased violence between the Palestinians and Israelis and an "acute humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip.

He said the agenda for the upcoming meeting will include Palestinian and Israeli relations, finding solutions for the Gaza humanitarian crisis, measures to counter violence and resuming the peace negotiations.

Kamynin said Lavrov would attend a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the capital of Senegal, Dakar, on March 13-14.

"For Russia - a country with a significant Islamic population - development of friendly relations and cooperation with the Islamic world is a strategic course," he said adding the relations were "focused on international peace and security, political conflict settlement and the war on international terrorism."


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