Israeli foreign ministry dismisses Russian statement on Palestinian statehood

10:42, January 20, 2011      

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Israeli foreign ministry officials and local analysts on Wednesday poured cold water on Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's reiteration of a 1988 statement that Russia "recognized an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem."

"There's nothing new in this reiteration of what has been a completely known Russian stance," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Xinhua.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has racked up a string of successes in recent months convincing Latin American nations to symbolically or formally recognize a Palestinian state, which the Israeli Foreign Ministry has dubbed a "political intifada."

Palestinian officials applauded Medvedev's statement. Chief PNA negotiator Saeb Erekat called it "an historic move to make the Palestinians proud for a very long time to come."

The Russian leader made the remark during a visit to Jericho, as part of comprehensive meetings with PNA officials.

"We appreciate the Russian recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders whose capital is east Jerusalem," Erekat told the Ynet news site.

However, The Jerusalem Post newspaper's diplomatic correspondent, Herb Keinon, told Xinhua that the Russian leader's comments were "nothing new," a take that tallies with Palmor's representation of the foreign ministry's point of view.

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