Russian envoy, Islamic Jihad official discuss Palestinian-Israeli conflict

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MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is the Russian President’s special envoy to the Middle East and North Africa, held talks with the Deputy Secretary of the Islamic Jihad Palestinian movement, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, in the course of which they discussed the current status of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report on Tuesday.
"The interlocutors had a detailed exchange of opinions on the entire range of issues pertaining to Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement, including the current developments in the Gaza Strip and around it," the ministry said.
"The Russian side stressed the importance of an earliest possible attaining of inter-Palestinian concord on the platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, as a basic prerequisite for the materialization of its hopes for an independent sovereign Palestinian state pursuant to resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative," the report said.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] and the Islamic Jihad that are operating mostly in the occupied Gaza Strip spoke out somewhat earlier for the restoration of unity in the Palestinian national movement.
They called for an immediate convocation of a session of the Palestinian National Council where all the factions in the occupied territories and members of the Palestinian diaspora would take part.
The groups also spoke for terminating the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel, renouncing recognition of the Jewish state and abating all coordination with the Israeli authorities in the sphere of security.
A joint statement they issued confirmed their support for and continuation of the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip and urged the Palestinians to build up resistance to the Israeli authorities.
The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began the Great March of Return on March 30. Protests taken on a mass character every Friday and grow over into clashes with the forces of law and order in the districts bordering Israel.
Palestinian physicians say no less than 140 people have died in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip since the end of March while tens of thousands of residents have received wounds and aggravated gas poisoning.

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