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Russia Calls For Security Council Mission To Middle East

Vitaly Churkin says the Security Council should return to the Middle East.
Russia called on the UN Security Council to send a mission to the Middle East to unblock the peace process and to assess the recent turmoil in Egypt and other countries.

Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that council envoys should go to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon.

He said a Security Council mission "could stabilize the situation in a certain way and could help international efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

Russia is one of five permanent members on the 15-nation council, along with Britain, China, France, and the United States.

Meantime, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned Israel to tame its rhetoric and said that the recent unrest in Arab countries may hinder the peace process.

Hague told the London "Times" that recent popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt could undermine the search for a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hague was reacting to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu's call that Israel be ready for "any outcome" and his promise to "reinforce the might of the state of Israel."

Hague spoke while travelling to Jordan from Tunisia, where he met members of the country's interim government, including Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi.

compiled from agency reports