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Israel Declines Russian Help in Reviving the Peace Talks

Israel is not interested in Russian intervention to help restart its suspended negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

This was the message Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres gave to Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev during his surprise visit to Israel on Friday.

Kozyrev, who was en route to a meeting with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Tunis, made no proposals of his own during his brief stay in Israel.

Nor did Kozyrev reiterate the urging of his deputy, made a week earlier, that a second round of Madrid talks be convened to help get Israel and the PLO back to the negotiating table. Israel has sharply rejected the suggestion.

Kozyrev reassured his hosts that while Russia favored an international presence in the territories, his country did not favor the armed international force that the PLO has called for to protect Palestinians in the territories.

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