Lavrov to Visit Middle East

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will head to the Middle East next week to help stem the growing violence in the region and the "worsening conditions" between Israel and the Palestinians, an official with the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Lavrov will visit Syria and Israel, as well as the Palestinian territories, ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement.

"The conditions in the Middle East region, particularly in Palestinian-Israeli relations, are worsening," he said.

During the March 19-21 visit, Lavrov will address "the problems with Palestinian-Israeli relations, ways out of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the suspension of violence, the resumption of negotiations aimed at the Palestinian-Israeli situation and other negotiating tracks, including that with Syria," Kamynin said.

No further details were released.

Moscow has offered to host a follow-up meeting to a peace conference held last year in Annapolis, Maryland, but no dates or invitations have been released.