CAIRO - The Russian foreign minister said the Mideast peace proposal his country helped draft needed to be nurtured by continued direct Israeli-Palestinian talks and by international attention.
"We are interested in maintaining the direct contact that has been initiated between the Palestinians and Israelis which has included meetings at the prime ministerial level," Igor Ivanov told reporters in Cairo after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday.
Ivanov, who was completing a Mideast peace tour, added implementation of the road map could be helped by expanding the monitoring mechanisms, especially by Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations - the so-called quartet that wrote the so-called road map to peace.
The road map envisioned a Palestinian state by 2005.
Ivanov and Egyptian officials also discussed recent developments in Iraq. Ivanov reiterated Russia's position that an independent and sovereign Iraq be respected and called for a greater role for the international community in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
Ivanov met earlier on Thursday with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Maher.
Ivanov's was on the last leg of a tour that also took him to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.