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12 May, 2009 06:55

The time for a Palestinian state has come

Presiding over a UN Security Council meeting, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the new administration in Tel Aviv to endorse a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine immediately and restart negotiations.

On his last stop in the US, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov chaired a meeting with the UN Security Council. Addressing the urgent need for an Israel-Palestine solution, his main concern was not to backtrack.

“There's an alarming negotiation vacuum caused by a number of well-known reasons: outbreaks of violence, the Gaza crisis, first the election and then a long process forming an Israeli government. In these conditions the major thing is to renew negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians as soon as possible,” stated Lavrov in his address.

In an unusually unified voice, the Security Council’s finger pointed in the new Israeli government’s direction, whose hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to publicly endorse the idea of a Palestinian state.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon supported the idea that “the time has come for Israel to fundamentally change its policies, in this regard, as it has repeatedly promised to do, but not yet done. Action on the ground, together with a genuine readiness to negotiate on all core issues, including Jerusalem, borders, and refugees, based on Israel’s existing commitments, will be the true test of Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution.”

Russia called for the ministers of all major powers to fly in, but one face missing is US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which raised a lot of questions at Lavrov’s press conference which he quickly shook off.

“We don’t see any political attitude in this, I was just in Washington three days ago and Hillary told me that she wouldn’t be able to make it. And she asked Susan Rice to represent the US,” Lavrov said himself.

Fixing the crisis in the Middle East is going to take vigorous diplomacy, and to stress the time crunch, Russia is already making plans to hold a peace conference where all sides will be invited.