Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Saltanov Meets Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Tuigan
A conversation took place on April 8 between Alexander Saltanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Ali Tuigan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.
The main attention was paid to the crisis in the Middle East, with both sides expressing profound concern at the sharp exacerbation of the situation in the Palestinian territories and the growing number of victims and destructions. The multipronged international efforts to overcome the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation were discussed.
In this connection Saltanov noted that Moscow counts on the effectiveness of an upcoming meeting of the four international mediators in Madrid with the participation of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Pique, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Javier Solana, EU High Commissioner for Foreign and Defense Policy. Hope also was expressed that the mission of Colin Powell to the Middle East will chart prospects for a way out of the present tragic situation.
The important thing now is to ensure the implementation by both opposing parties - the Israelis and Palestinians - of the provisions of UN SC resolution 1402, envisaging, above all, a cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian towns and cities, which would make it possible to start realizing the program of normalization on the basis of the Tenet-Mitchell scheme.
Ali Tuigan stated Turkey's assessment of the situation in the region and of the possibilities for normalizing it. He also underlined that the Russian and Turkish approaches largely concur.