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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) with the head of Israel's National Security Council, Giora Eiland, in January (epa) September 1, 2006 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will tour Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and the Palestinian territories next week.


A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Lavrov will meet political leaders on each leg of the tour "to confirm Russia's unflagging attention to this strategically important region."


Russia is still considering European requests to contribute troops to the planned 15,000-strong peacekeeping force in Lebanon.


(AP, ITAR-TASS)

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