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Israel Concerned Russia Will Recognize Palestinian State

Israeli officials fear that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will announce on Tuesday during a visit to Jericho that Russia recognizes a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

Medvedev is to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Russian president’s planned visit to Israel was canceled due to the Foreign Ministry strike.

Officials became concerned following an interview given by Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath to the Al-Hayat newspaper on Tuesday. Sha’ath said that Medvedev would affirm the Soviet Union’s 1988 recognition of a Palestinian state – a recognition that was based on the declaration of independence made by Yassir Arafat that year.

Such a move would be significant, particularly since Russia is a member of the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiatiors.

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