"Russia has proposed to organise an international conference to discuss the [Middle East] road map. We will talk about this with Mr Lavrov," Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted Abul Gheit as saying on Wednesday.

Russia has sought to revive the project of an international gathering of Middle East players in an attempt to get Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stand by the commitments outlined by the road map peace blueprint.
 
The idea was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a landmark visit to Cairo last April, the first to Egypt by a Russian leader in four decades.

"I would like to discuss with my Russian colleague, Sergei Lavrov, the way in which Russia can help to carry out the road map," the Egyptian foreign minister said.

Rest of region

Vladimir Putin broached a Middle
East gathering last year

Abul Gheit also said that he would be discussing Iraq, Lebanon and Syria with Lavrov.

"The situation is serious in Iraq and Palestine," he said, adding that increasing tension in Syria and Lebanon needed to be prevented."

Abul Gheit said Russia could be influential in the Middle East through the framework of the United Nations.

Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the quartet of diplomatic players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which also includes the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.

Abul Gheit added that Cairo wished to start a "strategic dialogue" with Russia.