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Russian, Israeli Leaders Discuss Mideast Peace, Iran


Israeli President Shimon Peres says he is confident Russia can play a key role in restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

Mr. Peres spoke Tuesday, alongside his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, after talks in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

For his part, Mr. Medvedev said all parties in the Middle East conflict should give up what he called "confrontation scenarios" and adopt a "calmer approach." He also said Russia, as a member of the quartet of international mediators, will promote those goals.

The two leaders also discussed Israeli and Western concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Moscow maintains close commercial ties with the Tehran government.

Both Israel and the United States have accused Iran of clandestine efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at peaceful applications.

The two leaders also marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II by condemning Holocaust deniers and those who have sought to minimize the contributions of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany.

The presidents, in a joint statement, called such efforts "a direct affront to everyone ... who fought against Nazism."


Some information for this report was provided by AFP.Israeli President Shimon Peres says he is confident Russia can play a key role in restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

Mr. Peres spoke Tuesday, alongside his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, after talks in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi.

For his part, Mr. Medvedev said all parties in the Middle East conflict should give up what he called "confrontation scenarios" and adopt a "calmer approach."

The two leaders also discussed Israeli and Western concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Medvedev said Russia is against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, as well as the sale of weapons that can harm the "delicate balance" in the Middle East.

Mr. Peres warned that a nuclear weapon in Iran's hands would place Israel under the threat of what he called an airborne "death camp."

Russia maintains close commercial ties with the Iranian government, and a Russian state company, Atomstroiexport, has been building a nuclear power plant at Bushehr in southern Iran.

Israel and the United States have accused Iran of clandestine efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at producing electricity.

Mr. Peres and Mr. Medvedev also marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, by condemning Holocaust deniers and those who have sought to minimize the contributions of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany.

The presidents, in a joint statement, called such efforts "a direct affront to everyone....who fought against Nazism."


Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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