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President Vladimir Putin sent a message to the participants in the summit of Arab heads of state taking place in Cairo on October 21–22

October 21, 2000

The message reads, in particular:

“This forum of Arab leaders is taking place at an important and critical moment for the Middle East. The tragic events in the Palestinian territories have seriously aggravated the situation in the region. The outbreak of violence and the numerous victims it has caused have dealt a serious blow to the Arab-Israeli peace process. Once again the region faces the threat of a return to confrontation, which would have extremely negative consequences for international security and stability.

This development of events runs counter to the strategic goals set out in Madrid of bringing lasting and fair peace, good-neighbourliness and cooperation to the region. These noble goals guide the Middle East peace process and Russia’s diplomatic efforts over these last years have focused precisely on their achievement.

Russia cannot remain indifferent while explosive potential again builds up in the Middle East. Throughout this crisis we have been taking decisive steps to end the violence and the deaths of innocent people. This is the only way to stabilise the situation and begin moving once again towards historic reconciliation and reliable security in the region. I am sure that all to whom the fate of the peoples of the Middle East is dear must work in this direction.

Resuming the peace process now will require even greater effort and political will. But there is simply no reasonable alternative. History has fated the peoples of this region to live together, and this means that it is necessary to find solutions to seemingly irresolvable problems and to agree on building civilised relations.

Russia will continue to work actively to facilitate progress towards a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement. We are ready to undertake broad cooperation with the Arab countries in this work”.

October 21, 2000