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  Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Sergei Lavrov discussed the draft resolution on the situation in the Gaza Strip with Yasser Arafat and Silvan Shalom
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the draft resolution on the situation in the Gaza Strip submitted earlier to the UN Security Council for consideration over the phone with leader of the Palestinian National Autonomy Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. The Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department told RIA Novosti that the phone talks had been initiated by the Russian side. "There was an exchange of opinions related to consideration of the developments in the Gaza Strip and discussion of an applicable draft resolution in the UN Security Council," the department pointed out. The Russian minister voiced deep concern over the new outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation in the Gaza Strip, which had already entailed heavy losses among the peaceful population. Expressing decisive disapproval of the terrorist attacks, which had killed Israeli children in the town of Sderot, Sergei Lavrov pointed out that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could not be settled in force. With this regard he "called upon the Israeli side to abstain form disproportional use of force and stressed that Israel's right for self-defense must be exercised within the context of its compliance with the provisions of the recognized international humanitarian rules," noted the department. At the same time, he called upon the leadership of the Palestinian National Autonomy "to undertake intensive efficient measures to prevent terrorist attacks." The Russian minister emphasized the importance of prompt restoration of the peace process in the region on the basis of the "road map", developed by four mediators comprising Russia, the U.S., EU and UN and being a consensus decision of the whole international community. "It was decisively made clear that there was no other sound alternative. The main thing now is to take urgent steps to stop the current dangerous escalation of the confrontation," emphasized the Russian Foreign Ministry. Both Yasser Arafat and Silvan Shalom gave their views on the situation in the Palestinian territories. "Both sides confirmed their interest in Russia's continuing intensive intermediary efforts towards strengthening peace and security in the Middle East," the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.
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