On 19 March Ambassador Sergey Vershinin, Director of the Russian MFA Department for Middle East and North Africa and Minister’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process, took part in an annual meeting of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee for Assistance to Palestinians co-sponsored by the Norwegian Presidency and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. In his address he informed the partners on the modalities of Russia’s assistance to the Palestinian National Authority and stressed the need to relaunch direct Israeli-Palestinians talks in the shortest possible time.
On the margins of the meeting Sergey Vershinin held bilateral consultations with the Norwegian delegation, met the Prime-Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Salam Fayad, Deputy Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, as well as EU and UN Special Representatives to the Middle East Quartet Andreas Reinicke and Robert Serry. A substantial discussion was held on various aspects of Israeli-Palestinian settlement and the whole range of regional problems. Parties agreed to hold Russia-EU bilateral consultations on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming months.