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Moscow supports direct Palestinian, Israeli talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday his country supports direct talks between Palestinian representatives and Israel resuming in Washington “even if they don’t guarantee success.”

“We support the negotiations opening today, despite the opposition of certain quarters among Palestinians and in the Arab world.

“They don’t give a 100 percent guarantee of success, but still they do offer an opportunity that we must not neglect,” Lavrov said during a visit to the Polish capital Warsaw.

“Before the talks, the parties, like boxers, are flexing their muscles but once negotiations are under way, confidence takes hold and they begin to work in a constructive manner,” Lavrov told reporters.

Direct peace talks are to resume Thursday between Palestinians and Israelis in Washington under the auspices of US President Barack Obama.

The talks, which broke off at the end of 2008, are aimed at hammering out a peace accord within a year.