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Russia: Yeltsin Says Mideast Peace Requires U.S.-Russian Cooperation

Moscow, 2 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Moscow today that Russia and the United States must cooperate on Middle East peace.

Yeltsin was quoted by aides as saying that the success of the negotiating process in the Middle East depends on coordinated efforts by Washington and Moscow.

Interfax reports that Barak welcomed Yeltsin's call. Barak also said after meeting Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin that Moscow should take a greater role in Middle East peace negotiations.

Itar-Tass reports that Yeltsin stressed that he wants "to rebuild Russia-Israeli ties." Yeltsin also condemned anti-Semitism in Russia, calling recent attacks on Jews and Jewish graves "disgusting."

Barak, who is on a one-day visit to Moscow, expressed concern about the alleged export of Russian nuclear rocket technology to Iran and Iraq. Stepashin replied that Russia is not interested in any country obtaining nuclear weapons -- including Iran.