Last update - 17:21 21/03/2008
Russian FM in West Bank: Gaza blockade unacceptable
By The Associated Press
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah that Israel should end the blockade of the Gaza Strip and halt all settlement activity.
After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Lavrov told a press conference that the blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June, is unacceptable.
Lavrov added that Russia was very much concerned about Israeli construction on land the Palestinians claim for a future state. "We call for an immediate halt to settlement activity," he said.
On Thursday, Lavrov met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who expressed concern over Russia's continuing supply of sophisticated weaponry to Syria and Iran.
Olmert stressed Israel's fear that these weapons, including advanced anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles, could find their way into the hands of the Lebanon-based guerilla group Hezbollah, supported by Syria and Iran, which has threatened to destroy Israel.
Lavrov responded by saying that Russia has no knowledge of Hezbollah possessing Russian weapons, and that if Israel has any information on the topic, Russia would be happy to look into it