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Russia seeks to extend role in Mideast peace beyond Syria

Moscow faces many challenges in its efforts to help resolve Palestinian issues, especially as Israel rejects any mediator other than the United States and Egypt continues to be the sole sponsor of intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas give a press conference following a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black sea resort of Sochi on May 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / YURI KOCHETKOV        (Photo credit should read YURI KOCHETKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is calling on Palestinians and Israelis to show restraint with each other and has rejected Israel’s “indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population” during Palestinian protest marches near the Israel-Gaza border. Russia is demanding that both sides avoid taking rash steps that would inflame tension, as more marches are expected.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated earlier this year that Moscow seeks to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks because a settlement can only be reached through direct dialogue. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas consented to Russia's proposal for a political summit, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea.

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