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U.S.-Russian Consultations in Washington Center Around Sudan, Mideast

Men Facing Each Other From a Distance Holding High Israeli and Palestinian Flags Amidst Onlookers and Middle Eastern Landscape
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MOSCOW. July 12 (Interfax) - Russian and U.S. diplomats have met in Washington to discuss ways of resuming the Israeli-Palestinian dialog in the context of a forthcoming meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East and checked their positions ahead of the United Nations Security Council session on Sudan.

At the talks, Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and the Minister's Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process Sergei Yakovlev. The U.S. was represented at the meeting by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, the U.S. President's Special Assistant Dennis Ross, Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman and Acting Special Envoy for the Middle East David Hale.

"Moscow has reaffirmed the need for a swift re-launch of the negotiating process aimed at creating an independent Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, in peaceful and safe co-existence with Israel," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

The meeting emphasized the difficulties thwarting the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian dialog, it said.

The officials also checked their positions ahead of the UN Security Council ministerial session on Sudan slated for July 13, the ministry said.

The parties stressed the need for international assistance to Southern Sudan in establishing the institutes of power and in solving the country's socio-economic problems.

The U.S.-Russian consultations on the Middle East and North Africa also emphasized the importance of defusing internal political tensions in Syria and Yemen through establishing a national dialog in these countries.

"Besides, there was a detailed discussion of the political and socio-economic situation in Egypt, given its particular impact on the development trends in the social processes in the Arab Muslim world," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Quartet of the Middle East consists of Russia, the U.S., the European Union and the UN.

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