Russia to Deliver Armored Vehicles to Palestinian Authority

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman says armored personnel carriers to be delivered to Jordan and transferred to PA 'in the coming days.'

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Russia will deliver 50 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian Authority in the near future, a spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"In the coming days 50 armored personnel carriers will be delivered to Jordan and then will be handed over to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank," spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters.

Russia first offered to supply armored personnel carriers to the Palestinians for internal security as early as 2005, but Israel initially opposed the delivery.

Moscow has also been increasing its efforts of late to include Hamas – the Gaza Strip rival of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas - in Middle East peace talks.

A Russian tank rolls off a trailer as it prepares to take part in practice for a military parade in Moscow on May 4, 2010.Credit: Reuters

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov met earlier this week and reportedly disagreed over Moscow's increased efforts to include Hamas in Mideast peace talks.

"In all our talks with Hamas we have tried to convince them to switch to the political track, and support the Arab peace initiative," Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The two ministers also reportedly differed on how to proceed with peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with the Russian foreign minister saying that negotiations must be advanced through the formation of a joint commission that would also include representatives of the Quartet and the Arab League.

Lavrov also warned that "in the absence of progress in the political track extremist elements in the Palestinian nation will be strengthened."

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