Russia says Obama Mideast peace plan not new

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Russia issued a muted response on Friday to US President Barack Obama's call for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on 1967 borders, saying it had long backed such a settlement.

"Russia has consistently advocated the creation of an independent Palestinian state with these borders and east Jerusalem as its capital," the Kremlin's Deputy Chief of Staff Sergei Naryshkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency

He noted that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last voiced his support for the initiative while on a visit to the West Bank city of Jericho in January.

In a keynote policy speech Thursday, Obama included a clear call for Israel and the Palestinians to use the lines that existed before 1967 as the basis for talks to achieve a negotiated solution to the conflict.

Russia on Saturday is due to receive members of rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas who have recently negotiated a reconciliation between themselves.

© 2011 AFP

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