MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Unofficial translation from Russian
Statement by Mikhail Kamynin, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regarding Agreement to Form National Unity Government of Palestinian National Authority
According to incoming reports, after talks in Gaza between PNA Head Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh an agreement was reached in principle to form a national unity government in the coming days. It is borne in mind that the government will consist of representatives of major Palestinian forces, including Fatah and Hamas.
Moscow is convinced that in case of realization of the agreement an important step will be taken along the road leading to the unification of the Palestinians and stabilization of conditions in the Palestinian territories. Real possibilities will appear for overcoming the humanitarian crisis and developing the Palestinian economy. The formation of the new government on the platform of a strategic choice in favor of peace and political settlement with Israel would have a special significance for the resumption of a negotiation process as the only means of achieving a lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.
We believe that the chance to rectify the situation in the Palestinian territories and in the region should not be lost. The new Palestinian government is called upon to take all necessary measures to end violence and resume substantive talks with Israel on the basis of the well-known international decisions. We expect that Israel will also take reciprocal steps which will make it possible to strike up a constructive dialogue.
As is known, Russia has always been supportive of the creation of a Palestinian national unity government which would represent the will of the Palestinian people and their striving to establish an independent state living in peace and security with Israel. This, in particular, was stressed in the course of the talks of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin with Mahmoud Abbas, held at Sochi in May 2006. We are firmly disposed to use upcoming contacts, including those on the fringes of the UNGA session, for the continuation of work with all the concerned parties in the region for the purpose of establishing peace and stability in the Middle East as soon as possible.