Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with Hosni Mubarak

FILE : Dmitry Medvedev and Hosni Mubarak at a joint news conference on the results of bilateral talks ( June 25, 2009 )

Feb 3 (KATAKAMI.COM) — The Russian President expressed his wish and hope that the current difficult period in the life of the friendly Egypt will soon be resolved through a peaceful and legal settlement of existing problems.

The Russian leader noted the importance of guaranteeing the security of the Russian Embassy in Cairo and the Russian citizens who are currently in Egypt, and expressed his gratitude for the measures that have already been taken by the Egyptian leadership in this regard.  (*)


Medvedev wishes friendly Egypt early end to no easy period

Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Hosni Mubarak.

February 3 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed his “wish and hope the current difficult period in the life of friendly Egypt will be soon overcome as a result of peaceful and legal settlement of the existing problems.” He was speaking on Thursday in a telephone conversation with President Hosni Mubarak, the Kremlin press service said.

The Russian president also noted “the importance of maintaining the security of the Russian embassy in Cairo and of the citizens of the Russian Federation, which are currently in Egypt,” and expressed gratitude “for the measures already taken by the Egyptian leadership in this regard.”  (*)

Russian President calls for further arms reductions

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Jan 27 (KATAKAMI.COM / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he was ready to sign a law on ratification of a new START treaty and urged the United States to continue joint efforts aimed at further strategic arms reduction.

Both houses of the Russian parliament have ratified the new arms reduction deal between Russia and the United States, paving the way for the president to sign the ratification into a law.

“When I come back from Davos, the text of the ratified treaty will be put on my table,” Medvedev said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The president added that he had already agreed with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on how to exchange the instruments of ratification.

“However, we must not stop at that and continue our efforts in reduction of strategic offensive weapons and limitations in a related area of missile defense,” Medvedev said.

The new arms reduction pact, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Medvedev and Obama in Prague in April, 2010. The document slashes the Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

The U.S. Senate ratified the deal on December 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up U.S. global missile defenses.

Russian lawmakers also added some provisions to the ratification document and issued two supplementary statements to the resolution on ratification of the agreement.  (*)

Medvedev blames security lapse for Moscow blast

A combination of still images taken from a CCTV footage shows the arrival hall of Moscow's Domodedovo airport before (L) and after (R) an explosion, January 24, 2011. A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at Russia's busiest airport on Monday, state TV said, in an attack on the capital that bore the hallmarks of militants fighting for an Islamist state in the North Caucasus region. REUTERS/Youtube via Reuters TV

MOSCOW, Jan 25 ( KATAKAMI.COM / Reuters) – President Dmitry Medvedev blamed airport managers on Tuesday for failing to stop an attack on Russia’s busiest international travel hub, saying security lapses had enabled a bomber to kill 35 people in a crowded arrivals hall.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, but the action bore hallmarks of militants fighting for an Islamist state in the North Caucasus region on Russia’s southern frontier.

“It’s obviously a terrorist act that was planned well in advance in order to cause the deaths of as many people as possible,” Medvedev said.

A woman pushes her luggage past flowers at a site of a blast at Domodedovo airport near Moscow on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, as others wait for a security check to enter. Security was tightened in Moscow on Tuesday, after a suicide bomber set off an explosion that ripped through Moscow's busiest airport on Monday. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

The blast ripped through the international arrivals area where travelers emerge after collecting their bags, causing carnage and filling the hall with smoke.

An Emergencies Ministry list of the dead included eight foreigners: two Britons, a German and citizens of Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

Medvedev said the management of Domodedovo Airport should answer for the attack, in which the bomber evaded security to carry the explosives into the airport’s arrival hall.

“What happened shows that there were clear security violations,” he said. He said airport security rules had been strengthened after bombers blew up two planes that took off from Domodedovo in 2004, killing 90 people.

“Unfortunately — we do have this misfortune — we far from always implement even the most important legislation.”

North Caucasus rebels have threatened attacks against cities and economic targets in the run-up to parliamentary elections this year and 2012 presidential polls. The choice of Domodedovo’s international arrivals area suggested the attackers wanted to achieve a wider impact beyond Russia’s borders.

Russia is to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the edge of the Caucasus, which some rebels consider part of the territory they aim to include in an Islamic state.

An investigator cited by news agency Itar-Tass said the attack was apparently carried out by a heavily built man aged 30 to 40. Other reports have given conflicting information, with some pointing to a female suicide bomber or two attackers.

Domodedovo Airport said it was not responsible for the blast. “The airport maintains that we should not be held accountable for the explosion, because, I repeat, we fully met all the requirements in the sphere of air transport security for which we are responsible,” spokeswoman Yelena Galanova said in televised comments.

Medvedev, who vowed to punish those behind the blasts, delayed his departure to the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, where he is to court foreign investment in Russia in his opening keynote speech at the WorldEconomic Forum on Wednesday.

Analysts said the attack could hamper Kremlin efforts to reform Russia’s energy-reliant economy, especially with elections approaching.

“The heightened threat to national security distracts top officials’ attention from other pressing issues, such as formulating the economic policy agenda for the next political cycle,” Moscow investment bank VTB Capital said in a note.

“It might also affect calculations for the 2011-12 election campaign,” the note read.

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, center, conducts a religious service in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, for those who died in the explosion at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the dominant partner in Russia’s ‘tandem’ leadership, built his early reputation as a strong leader by launching a war in late 1999 to crush a rebel government in Chechnya, a North Caucasus province.

That campaign achieved its immediate aim, but insurgency has spread to neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan and spawned persistent attacks beyond the North Caucasus.

Putin and Medvedev have vowed to crush the insurgents and poured money into the impoverished North Caucasus, but attacks have continued. Last March, two female suicide attackers from Dagestan killed 40 rush-hour commuters in Moscow’s metro.

Further attacks could increase pressure from hardliners on Putin to return to the presidency next year.

The spread of violence from the North Caucasus, where it is fed by a cocktail of corruption, poverty and clan rivalries as well as religious radicalism, fans Russian nationalist militancy in the heartland.

Tensions between ethnic Russians and the 20 million Muslims who make up one-seventh of Russia’s population flared dramatically last month in clashes including a riot by Russian nationalists who attacked passersby of non-Slavic appearance steps from the Kremlin, many of them from the North Caucasus.

On Tuesday police officers boosted their presence around railroad stations and airports, carrying out spot checks of people who looked as though they could be from the Caucasus.

The worst attack carried out by North Caucasus insurgents took place in 2004 when militants seized control of a school in the town of Beslan. When Russian troops stormed the building in an attempt to end a siege, 331 hostages, more than half of them children, were killed.  (*)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed condolences to the injured and to families of the victims at Domodedovo Airport

Emergency meeting following explosion at Domodedovo Airport


Jan 25 ( KATAKAMI.COM / KREMLIN.RU ) — As instructed by the President, the Healthcare and Social Development Ministry and the Emergencies Ministry are providing urgent medical assistance to the persons injured by the terrorist bombing.

To ensure transport safety, President Medvedev instructed the Transport Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Security Service to jointly effect a nationwide emergency regime at airports, air terminals and all major transport hubs.

Mr Medvedev instructed Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin to appoint a team of investigators for detecting into the terrorist attack. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika was instructed to verify compliance with the requirements of regulations and laws on safety at major transport hubs.

Domodedovo Airport’s hotline telephone numbers:

+7 (495) 363-6101

+7 (495) 644-4066

Passengers queue for a security check to enter Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport on January 24, 2011 after an explosion killed at least 35 people. President Dmitry Medvedev said on January 25, 2011 that clear breaches in security had allowed a suspected female suicide bomber linked to Russia's Northern Caucasus to slaughter 35 people at Moscow's main airport. In comments broadcast on national television, Medvedev demanded answers from Domodedovo airport over how it let the bomber wander into arrivals and set off a charge just as passengers from several international flights were arriving. (Photo by OXANA ONIPKO/AFP/Getty Images)

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: As you know, there has been an explosion at Domodedovo Airport. According to the preliminary information, this is an act of terrorism. Some people have been killed and a number have been injured. I have just spoken with the Healthcare Minister and the Emergencies Minister and instructed them to do everything to arrange immediate medical assistance to the blast victims. Right now, many ambulances are headed for Domodedovo Airport.

I would like to express my sincere condolences to relatives of the victims.

Regarding the law enforcement, first of all, an emergency regime must be effected at all airports, air terminals, and all major transportation hubs and I am hereby instructing Transport Minister Mr Levitin, the Minister of the Interior and the Federal Security Service to join efforts to install procedures which in line with the laws on transport safety would ensure performance of every respective step.

Regarding the investigation, Mr Bastrykin [Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee], you must appoint a team of investigators to immediately travel to the site for performing all respective activities. As I directed, at the moment the Mayor of Moscow and the Governor of Moscow Region are already on their way [to Domodedovo Airport]. Every possible investigative action should be conducted in order to quickly collect evidence and possibly accomplish the investigation while the trail is still hot.

In terms of ensuring safety at this airport and at other transportation hubs, [Prosecutor General] Mr Chaika, this currently requires your utmost attention, because following certain events, we passed a whole set of relevant regulations and laws.

It should be reviewed how they have been and are followed, because the terrorist attack demonstrates that not all the laws which should be in proper effect, are adequately applied throughout the country.

This is to be audited.

Assistance and support to those who have suffered is our top priority at the moment while the rest is to be subject to the applicable legislation, including criminal procedure laws, and the Ministry of the Interior and the FSB have been instructed accordingly.

Please get to work.  (*)

Russian President Medvedev : "This is an act of terror. This is grief. This is a tragedy

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) talks to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika during a special meeting at the presidential residence Gorki outside Moscow January 24, 2011. Medvedev vowed to track down and punish those behind a suicide bomb attack which killed at least 31 people and injured over 100 others at Russia's biggest airport. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

President Dmitry Medvedev answered journalists’ questions about the tragedy at the Domodedovo Airport

Jan 25 (KATAKAMI.COM / KREMLIN.RU) — PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Considering the location and other indirect indications, this was a well-planned terrorist attack aimed at killing as many people as possible.

Currently medical personnel are treating those in need; there is a large number of injured.

All instructions have been issued, we have an algorithm for this kind of emergency effort in our country because we know firsthand what terrorism is. We have introduced special security measures at virtually all transport hubs.

Everyone has been affected by these measures because security demands very careful inspection of luggage, but it is a forced measure, and sometimes it is crucial, simply vitally important.

Our legislation was amended following the events that happened some time ago, when terrorist attacks were committed on airplanes departing from various airports, including Domodedovo Airport. It became much tougher, but unfortunately – and that is our biggest problem – we do not always enforce even the most important legislation. I therefore instructed the Prosecutor General to investigate the enforcement of these laws at Domodedovo Airport.

The airport is good, everyone recognises that, it is new and modern. But what has happened shows that there were clearly breaches in security, and everyone who makes decisions here, including the airport management, will answer for this.

This is an act of terror. This is grief. This is a tragedy. I hope that law enforcement agencies will be able to quickly reconstruct the course of events and conduct an investigation.  (*)

President Medvedev want NATO to answer on RF role in EU missile defence

FILE : 20 October 2010, 21:00 Russian Permanent Envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko at meeting with participants in the Munich Conference on Security Policy. © Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

GORKI, January 25 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has urged NATO to give “a direct and unambiguous answer” on the possible role of Russia in the European missile defence system, promising in any case to give “an adequate response to the existing problem.”

“No joking here is acceptable; we expect from our NATO partners a direct and unequivocal answer: where they see the place of Russia (in the European missile defence system),” Russian President said at a meeting with Russia’s Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin on Monday.

“In any case, we either together with NATO or alone will find a decent solution to the problem existing at the moment,” said Medvedev.

“Our (NATO) partners should realise that we need this not to play some joint games with NATO, but in order to ensure the proper defence of Russia,” the head of state noted. “This is my duty as the president and the duty of other public servants,” Medvedev added.

The president recalled that in his state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly he had already expressed his view on the alternative that Russia faces in this issue. “Either we agree on certain principles with NATO and create a matching system for the fulfilment of the missile defence tasks, or we fail to agree and then in the future we will have to make a number of unpleasant decisions on the deployment of the main nuclear missile attack force,” the RF head of state emphasised.

At the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon last year Medvedev had already voiced the general approaches of the Russian Federation to building relations with NATO in the missile defence sphere, in particular, in the regime of the creation of the Euro missile shield.

“Our country does not bid for the participation in the NATO initiative as such, we have never needed that. However, we should at the same time realise our share of responsibility for what is happening in this sphere, and are ready to offer our potentialities,” he said.

The president noted that the reaction to Russia’s proposal at the summit was “favourable on the whole, although varied.”

Medvedev asked Rogozin to report on how the events develop and if any agreements have been reached “regarding the approaches to the settlement of this problem.”

The 28 Allies and Russia work together as equal partners in the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which was established in 2002. Cooperation between Russia and NATO in the area of theatre missile defence (TMD) has been underway for a number of years to address the unprecedented danger posed to deployed forces by the increasing availability of ever more accurate ballistic missiles. A study was launched in 2003 to assess the possible levels of interoperability among the theatre missile defence systems of NATO Allies and Russia, according to a NATO release.

Three command post exercises have been held – the first in the United States in March 2004, the second in the Netherlands in March 2005, and the third in Russia in October 2006. A computer assisted exercise took place in Germany in January 2008. Together with the interoperability study, these exercises are intended to provide the basis for future improvements to interoperability and to develop mechanisms and procedures for joint operations in the area of theatre missile defence.

In December 2009, NRC Missile Defence Working Group was established. It was tasked to build on the lessons learned from the previous TMD cooperation and to exchange views on possible mutually beneficial cooperation on missile defence, based on a joint assessment of missile threats.

At the Lisbon Summit, NRC leaders approved the joint ballistic missile threat assessment and agreed to discuss pursuing missile defence cooperation. They decided to resume TMD cooperation and to develop a joint analysis of the future framework for missile defence cooperation.

Since the NRC was established, military liaison arrangements have been enhanced, at the Allied Commands for Operations and for Transformation, as well as in Moscow. A key objective of military-to-military cooperation is to build trust, confidence and transparency, and to improve the ability of NATO and Russian forces to work together in preparation for possible future joint military operations, according to NATO.

Military-to-military cooperation has resumed, following a temporary suspension in the wake of the August 2008 Georgia crisis. The military work plan for 2010 focused on four agreed areas of cooperation: logistics, combating terrorism, search and rescue at sea, and counter piracy. At the Lisbon Summit, NRC leaders agreed to expand existing tactical-level cooperation to address the threat of piracy, including through joint training and exercises.

A “Political-Military Guidance Towards Enhanced Interoperability Between Forces of Russia and NATO Nations” was approved by NRC defence ministers in June 2005. Another key document is the Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement, which Russia signed in 2004 and the Russian parliament ratified in May 2007,which will facilitate further military-to-military and other practical cooperation, in particular the deployment of forces participating in joint operations and exercises. (*)

Medvedev to hold talks with King of Jordan Wed

Photo File : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) chats with Jordan's King Abdullah II on August 24, 2008 in Sochi, during a meeting to discuss bilateral relations and Middle East developments, including efforts to achieve peace and security in the region. (Photo by VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

AMMAN, January 19 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in Jordan on the second part of his Middle East tour.

On Tuesday, Medvedev visited Palestinian lands and had negotiations with Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho on the West Bank. Later in the day the leaders opened a Russian museum in Jericho and toured a park near the biblical Fig Tree.

Dmitry Medvedev made the following entry in his Twitter blog, expressing his impressions of the tour of the Palestinian lands: “People in Palestine like Russia. It was gratifying to see the sincere emotions being expressed by folk in the streets of ancient Jericho.”

On Wednesday the President of Russia is to hold talks with his old acquaintance King Abdullah II of Jordan and visit the site of the Baptism of Christ.

An official ceremony to welcome Medvedev is to be held in the main square of the Jordanian capital. According to the Protocol, the national anthems of the two countires are to be played; the two leaders are to hear a report by the commander of the guard of honour. Following that, talks in narrow and broader formats are to be held.

“Our relations are notable for activeness and a high level of trust,” a Russian presidential administration official has told Itar-Tass. “There have been nine visits by Abdullah II to Russia since 2001. In February 2007, the then Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Jordan”. “As regards the developments in the Caucasus, Jordan officially took up a neutral attitude which was regarded by the West as a pro-Russian one,” the official said.” “In August 2008, the King sent planeload of humanitarian aid supplies to Vladikavkaz for the South Ossetian population,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko recalled.

Dmitry Medvedev and King Abdullah II are also to discuss the construction of a nuclear power station in Jordan by Russian specialists, Prikhodko said.

“We evinced such an interest and said we are ready to cooperate,” Prikhodko remarked. “However, this is not a matter of tomorrow or one or two years,” he added.

“Apart from Russia, applications were also filed by the Korean, French, and Canadian sides,” the presidential aide recalled. Jordan “must make a desicion about a site, and we must decide on a credit,” he said.

“In the estimates of the Jordanian side, the first nuclear power unit is to come into operation in 2018,” Prikhodko said.

Medvedevl’s aide recallled that in 2009 Russia and Jordan had signed an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy. “It is now a matter of technology and finance. Russia will state its position at the (upcoming) talks. However, the situation depends chiefly on the Jordanian side,” Prikhodko said.

After the talks the Russian President will visit the historico-religious estate “The Site of the Baptism of Christ”. Over there Medvedev will tour a hospice which is being built on the river Jordan by the Russian side. More than 200,000 pilgrims and tourists visited the site last year. The RF Directorate for the Management of Presidential Property set a task of completing the construction and equipment of the compound in March 2011.

“The implementation of this unique project is of great importance: for the first time in history the Russian state has received a plot of land in this area and is erecting its own compound of buildings which will play host to pilgrims from Russia,” Prikhodko pointed out.

Mahmoud Abbas urges Quartet to put pressure on Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas greets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after his visit the Jericho Museum in the West Bank Oasis town of Jericho on January 18, 2011. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 19 (KATAKAMI.COM / Jpost) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged the Quartet members, who are scheduled to meet in Munich next month, to issue decisions that would oblige Israel to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.

Abbas, who was speaking during a joint press conference in Jericho with visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said there were only two options: Negotiations or violence and terrorism.

“We won’t choose violence and terrorism,” he declared. “Therefore, we tell the Israelis that they must choose the path of peace for their own interest and for the interests of their generations.”

Medvedev was originally scheduled to come first to Israel before going to the PA, but his trip to Israel was canceled because of the Foreign Ministry workers’ sanctions. A senior ministry official said that once the work sanctions ended, Jerusalem would contact Moscow to try and reschedule a visit to Israel.

Abbas reiterated his demand for a full cessation of settlement construction so as to pave the way for the resumption of the peace talks and the implementation of the road map for peace, the Arab peace initiative and UN resolutions.

He hailed the Russians for their longtime support for the Palestinians, noting that he had once headed the Palestinian- Russian Friendship Association.

Abbas said he had briefed Medvedev on the ongoing construction in the settlements and Israeli measures in east Jerusalem that, he claimed, were designed to change the city’s character, identity and history.

The two men also discussed the impasse in the peace talks and the possibility that Russia, as a member of the Quartet, would play an active role in the peace process, Abbas said. The Quartet, which is made up of the US, EU, Russia and UN, is scheduled to meet next on February 5 in Munich.

Abbas also praised Latin American countries that had recently recognized a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders.
Medvedev said at the press conference that the Russian position toward the issue of recognizing a Palestinian state hadn’t changed.
He pointed out that the Soviet Union had recognized the PLO declaration of statehood in 1988.

“The Russian position hasn’t changed, as I’ve told the president,” he said. “Russia has made its choice long ago, at the end of the ’80s. We supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to create its own state, which is independent, territorially integral and with a capital in east Jerusalem.”

Israeli officials pointed out that the Russian president stepped back from explicitly calling for a state along the 1967 lines, a recognition the Palestinians are seeking. The officials said that Foreign Ministry officials were in touch with the Russian delegation before it went to Jericho to ensure there would be no change in the Russian position.

Israeli government officials said they regretted that the PA was investing so much energy in trying to get “meaningless declarations” from various countries around the world.

“In 1988, Yasser Arafat declared an independent state and more than 100 counties recognized it,” one official said. “The question is whether that changed anything for the Palestinians, did it change anything in the West Bank? It changed nothing.”

The official said the Palestinian leadership needed to chose between “the path of empty rhetoric and meaningless declarations” and “direct engagement with Israel.” Only through negotiations with Israel “can realities be changed,” the official said.

National Security Adviser Uzi Arad was in Moscow last week and President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet with Medvedev later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Medvedev said he discussed with Abbas ways of reviving the peace talks with Israel. He called on both parties to exercise self-restraint and avoid unilateral actions. He also called for a halt of Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

He said all parties would benefit from the creation of a Palestinian state, especially Israelis and Palestinians. “This is what we have to work to achieve,” Medvedev said.

He also expressed readiness to host a peace conference in Moscow and warned that the current stalemate would have a negative impact on the situation in the Middle East.

Medvedev and Abbas inaugurated the Russian Museum in Jericho. Abbas described the project as a “symbol of Russian civilization in Palestine.”

Medvedev said that the existence of the museum in the Palestinian territories was a symbol of Russian presence in the Holy Land and the strong ties between Palestinians and Russians.  (*)

President Dmitry Medvedev Visits Palestine

Official welcome ceremony. President Dmitry Medvedev with President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Jan 18 (KATAKAMI.COM / KREMLIN.RU) — Talks between the President of Russia and President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas took place in Jericho. The main issue discussed during the meeting was Middle East settlement.

At the news conference following the talks, Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia supports the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own territorially unified and indivisible state, adding that the potential of international and regional organisations should be used more actively to move the process forward.

The Russian President confirmed his intention to host an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow. Mr Medvedev said that the international legal framework needed to achieve tangible results in addressing the Middle East conflict is already in place. The prospects for the conference will become clear following the upcoming meeting of the Middle East Quartet in Munich.

A number of joint documents were signed following the Russian-Palestinian talks. (*)

Moscow reaffirms Soviet recognition of Palestine

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (L) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) review an honour guard in the West Bank town of Jericho upon the latter's arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman across the Allenby Bridge border crosssing on January 18, 2011 on his first visit to the occupied territories. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

JERICHO, West Bank, January 18 (KATAKAMI.COM / Reuters) –  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday Moscow had recognized an independent Palestinian state in 1988 and was not changing that position adopted by the former Soviet Union.

But on his first visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank as Russian head of state, Medvedev stopped short of making a ringing declaration of recognition of Palestinian statehood by the Russian Federation that he represents.

Israel has been alarmed in the past two months by a string of recognitions by Latin American states including Brazil and Argentina which some analysts say could be a precursor to a move by the Palestinians to seek full United Nations membership.

At a news conference with Medvedev in Jericho, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “We remember that Russia was one of the first states in the world to recognize the state of Palestine in 1988.”

Medvedev responded, saying: “Russia made its choice a long time ago …we supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem.”

The Soviet Union recognized a Palestinian state in 1988, after it was declared by the late Yasser Arafat in a move that won broad support in the Communist bloc and Third World but had little real impact on diplomatic and political realities.

Photostream : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (L) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (C) review an honour guard in the West Bank town of Jericho upon the latter's arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman across the Allenby Bridge border crosssing on January 18, 2011 on his first visit to the occupied territories. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (L) welcomes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the West Bank town of Jericho upon his arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman across the Allenby Bridge border crosssing on January 18, 2011 on his first visit to the occupied territories. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (C) reviews an honour guard upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Jericho for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas January 18, 2011. Medvedev drove into the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Tuesday for talks with Abbas on reviving the moribund Middle East peace process. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (L) welcomes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (C) in the West Bank town of Jericho upon his arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman across the Allenby Bridge border crosssing on January 18, 2011 on his first visit to the occupied territories. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (L) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) review an honour guard in the West Bank town of Jericho upon the latter's arrival from the Jordanian capital Amman across the Allenby Bridge border crosssing on January 18, 2011 on his first visit to the occupied territories. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Kremlin says Palestinian leadership should take into account HAMAS position

PHOTO FILE : Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters after meeting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow February 8, 2010

MOSCOW, January 17 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) –The Palestinian Authority should take into account the position of HAMAS, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.

He believes that the Middle East conflict can be resolved “through political dialogue and by taking into account the position of HAMAS.”

“We think it necessary to take into account the real situation because HAMAS is a real political force, and everyone should heed them, at least to the degree to which they reflect the opinion of their voters,” the aide said ahead of President Dmitry Medvedev’s upcoming visit to the Palestinian Authority slated for January 18.  (*)

Medvedev wants to discuss inter-religious dialogue in Mideast trip

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW, January 17 (KATAKAMI.COM / Itar-Tass) – During his trip to Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expects to discuss issues of support for people of different nationalities and beliefs.

“Tomorrow I am heading for a visit to Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority,” the president said at a meeting with the leadership of the Federal Assembly. He reminded the audience that over the recent years Russia has built and continues building churches, museums and hotels for pilgrims in the Holy Land.

“All that strengthens Russian traditions,” the president believes. “We will also speak with colleagues about support for other nationalities and beliefs in our country,” Medvedev said.  (*)

Palestinian Authority Preparing for Medvedev Visit on Wednesday

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Jan 18 (KATAKAMI.COM / IsraelNationalNews.Com) — The Palestinian Authority (PA) is preparing for a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Jericho on Wednesday.

The PA police force and the rest of its security apparatus finished their preparations on Monday. Jericho’s mayor, police chief and regional governor toured the width and breadth of the city Monday to view the preparations for receiving the visiting dignitary in a respectable, if not fancy way.

During the Middle East trip, which starts on Tuesday, Medvedev will be visiting Jordan, as well as the PA.

His visit to Israel was cancelled because of employee sanctions at the foreign ministry. The Voice of Russia website says that Medvedev will meet President Shimon Peres during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in February.  (*)

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