International Quartet aims to resolve Palestinian problem

The Quartet of international mediators to the Middle East are gathering in Lisbon for their first meeting since Islamist group Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in June. Russia's Foreign Ministry said they should focus on measures to improve life in the Palesti

Top diplomats from the European Union, U.S., Russia, and the United Nations will join former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who's making his debut as Middle East envoy.

One issue all the parties are united on is that the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip is dramatic. Ordinary Palestinians suffered from the violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah factions in June and the situation still remains very difficult.

The parties agree that the situation has to be dealt with urgently. Direct humanitarian aid will be provided, they say, but there are divergences on whether it is possible to offer financial help to Palestinians in Gaza Strip. The U.S. and Israel are strongly opposing this, claiming the money could be taken by Hamas whom they call a terrorist organisation. This issue is going to be discussed at the meeting of the Quartet of international mediators.