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Russia, EU Call For Direct Israel-Palestinian Talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russia and the European Union are jointly calling for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without preconditions.

A joint statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was published on December 22 on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

It calls for "bold and concrete steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

It also calls on both sides to avoid any actions that undermine confidence or erode the viability of a two-state settlement.

It says Moscow and Brussels "strongly oppose" any expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

It also says Russia and the EU "will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem" unless they are agreed to by both sides of the conflict.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS
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