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Russia hopes that Israel will abide by its promise and let Arafat return to the Palestinian lands after the course of treatment
Russia hopes that Israel will abide by its promise and let Arafat return to the Palestinian lands after the course of treatment, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. "We wish Yasser Arafat the earliest recovery and, when we talk of the implementation of the road map, we proceed from his being the duly-elected leader of the people of Palestine and preserving the status as the father of Palestinian nation," Mr. Lavrov told journalists. "We have no doubt that the government of Israel will keep its promise and let Arafat return to the Palestinian lands", he noted. Sergei Lavrov called for not allowing chaos to come to the Palestinian lands after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. "Together with the four intermediaries and the United Nations we call for taking measures towards the ensuring of stability on the Palestinian lands and for the declared withdrawal of Israel from Gaza, which we welcome as proceeding within the framework of the road map, not to lead to chaos," Mr. Lavrov told journalists. He also said that Russia calls for the earliest settlement in Abkhazia. "The sooner the emerging problems are settled there, the sooner the negotiating process between Sukhumi and Tbilisi is resumed with the assistance of the Russian Federation and the group of friends of the United Nations Secretary General so as a way out acceptable to both the parties can be looked for," the Russian foreign minister said. "We are rather interested in that region. Russia is a party co-assisting in settling the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict and one of the group of friends of the UN Secretary General handling the conflict. We are closely watching the situation in Abkhazia and hope that it will develop quietly and in line with the rules of Abkhazia," Sergei Lavrov said. On Friday after talks with his Congolese analogue Rodolphe Adada, Sergei Lavrov said that Russia supports the efforts of the African Union to normalize the situation in the Sudanese province Darfur. "Russia gives full support to the actions of the African Union towards normalizing the humanitarian situation in Darfur and promoting the settlement between the government of Sudan and the opposition forces," Mr. Lavrov said. He stressed that Russia was all out for the international community to support the efforts of the African Union to normalize the situation in the region without enforcing decisions that would be problematic for the African Union. "The African Union and Russia are for resolving the problem of Darfur with unconditional respect for the territorial integrity of Sudan," Sergei Lavrov stressed. As regards relations between Russia and the Republic of the Congo, he said that the economy here should be elevated to the level of political relations. Alongside bilateral relations, the problem of settlement on the African continent, as well as the fight against terrorism were discussed at the talks.
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