Putin said Russia wants to play an increasing role in the Mideast peace process. "We think there is a chance now to achieve a just Israeli-Palestinian settlement,” he said. “Much will depend on Israel's willingness and the Palestinians' willingness, first and foremost." Putin called for an international Mideast peace conference in Moscow this fall, but Sharon told him that’s premature. Sharon said that before a conference, the Palestinians must fulfill their first commitment under the “roadmap” peace plan--to dismantle terrorist groups.
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