New Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Israel on its 60th birthday.
In the message Thursday to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres, Medvedev noted that Russia was one of the first countries to recognize Israel’s independence 60 years ago.
“Over the years, Israel has not only achieved serious political results; it has also demonstrated advanced economic, scientific and cultural achievements,” Medvedev said in the statement in his second day on the job.
Russia has sought to take on a more extensive role as a member of the diplomatic Quartet that monitors the Middle East peace process, most recently calling for a summit in Moscow this summer. Israeli leaders are skeptical about the idea.
Medvedev says Russia intends to continue an active role in the process, seeking “under international law to provide for the reliable security and prosperity of Israel, living peacefully with all countries and peoples of the region.”