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2 May, 2008 00:38

Iran to dominate London meeting on Middle East

The world’s most powerful diplomats will be in London on Friday for talks on the Middle East. The foreign ministers of Russia, China, the U.S., the UK, France and Germany will be putting ideas forward on how best to resolve the problem of Iran’s nuclear p

Political analyst Vladimir Sazhin says dealing with Iran’s atomic ambitions are the top priority.

‘The resolution of the UN Security Council adopted not long ago includes sanctions against Iran. Iran was given 90 days to comply with the demands of the resolution, but Tehran said it won’t do so," Sazhin said.

The six nations are trying to come up with a raft of measures to persuade Iran to give up its programme of enriching uranium.

It's not only about punishments. Incentives like technological and financial aid are also being offered – an approach Russia has been promoting.

Meanwhile, the quartet of peacemakers for the Middle East – Russia, the U.S., the EU and the UN – faces no less of a challenge.

In November, 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the U.S. It marked a new stage in the peace process, following a seven-year freeze on negotiations. But it hasn't stopped the violence. Abbas and his Fatah party lost control over the Gaza strip to the rival Hamas organisation, considered a terrorist group by many countries, and which continues to attack Israel.

Internal Palestinian divisions are seen as one of the main obstacles in the peace process.

The U.S. insists pressure must be put on Hamas to agree a ceasefire. But Hamas and its activities are supported by a significant part of the Palestinian population, many of whom support continued attacks against Israel.