Russia urges 'quartet' meet on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov meets U.N. Secretary-General Guterres in Moscow
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that a meeting of four international mediators for resolving the intensifying Israeli-Palestinian conflict is urgently required.

Israel said it killed 16 members of the Hamas armed wing in Gaza in a barrage on Wednesday. At least 56 people have been killed in Gaza since violence increased on Monday, according to the enclave's health ministry. Six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.

Lavrov was speaking at a joint briefing with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after talks in Moscow.

"I think we came to a common conclusion that the most urgent task is calling a meeting of the quartet of international mediators: Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union," Lavrov said.

"And we trust the Secretary-General as the coordinator of the quartet," he said, adding the meeting should be presented by the top diplomats of the four parties.

The group was established in Madrid in 2002. Guterres said the U.N. is totally committed to revitalising the work of the quartet and repeated his urgings for an end to the violence.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Grant McCool)

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