Lavrov presses peace plan


Russia’s foreign minister pressed Israel on his country’s plan for an international Middle East peace conference.

Segei Lavrov met Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and President Shimon Peres.

Lavrov, who had met Wednesday in Syria with Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, sought Israel’s support for his country’s plan for a comprehensive peace conference in coming months, which would focus on the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Syrian tracks.

The Israelis, who prefer the preeminent role the United States has taken in recent peace-brokering, were non-committal. They asked Lavrov to address Russian arms sales to Syria and Syria’s supply of arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Lavrov and Livni also signed agreements removing prior visas for travelers and opening Soviet-era archives to Israeli researchers.

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