Russia backs 'sustainable' Mideast peace

AFP , Wednesday 19 Jan 2011

Russian president pledges his country's support for a sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem during his trip to Jordan and the Palestinian territories

Abbas & Medvedev
President Abbas, and President Medvedev, during a joint press conference (Photo: AP)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday his country is committed to "a sustainable peace" in the Middle East, during talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"We shall do everything possible to ensure that in the Middle East there is a sustainable peace," a palace statement quoted Medvedev as saying.

"Russia remains committed as a co-sponsor of this process and we are aware of the special responsibility that we bear."

On his first trip to Jordan and the Palestinian territories, Medvedev said "the ultimate goal is to create a modern, unified, sovereign state with the capital in eastern Jerusalem."

Medvedev held talks on Tuesday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Jericho on ways to restart peace talks with Israel after they collapsed late last year over a thorny dispute about Jewish settlement building.

He called for "compromise" while stressing there would be "no progress" without an Israeli decision on settlement building.

The king told Medvedev "we welcome Russia's extremely important role in Middle Eastern affairs," adding that Moscow's engagement "is so critical to the future stability of this region."

"You have played an important role in bringing stability to the region and, more importantly, your country's very strong role in the peace process."

The two leaders also discussed nuclear cooperation after Jordanian and Russians officials signed an agreement to help Russian companies invest in the kingdom's energy sector.

Jordan and Russia signed a nuclear cooperation deal in 2009.

Russia's Atomstroyexport is one of the companies competing to build a Jordanian nuclear reactor as part of the energy-poor kingdom's civil atomic energy programme.

Medvedev was to visit a Jordan Valley site where many Christians believe Jesus was baptised, before he wraps up

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