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13 Dec, 2023 15:55

Moscow outlines conditions for Middle East peace

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, arguing that US plans will inevitably fail
Moscow outlines conditions for Middle East peace

Sustainable peace in the Middle East can only be achieved after the full creation of a Palestinian state, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that Moscow also supports Israel’s right to security.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Lavrov stressed that Moscow is doing everything it can to stop the hostilities that have been raging between Israel and Palestinian armed movement Hamas since early October.

However, Lavrov noted that Russia “will not agree to Middle East settlement deals that violate Israel’s security and do not involve the creation of Palestine.”

The crisis in the region can only be resolved if a “united and independent” Palestine is created in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, he added. This means Palestine must have borders similar to those of 1967 and co-exist with Israel “in peace, security, and good neighborliness,” Lavrov stated.

The diplomat admitted, however, that this prospect “is still very far away,” while arguing that Israel and the West are opposed to a reasonable solution. According to Lavrov, the US is currently mulling a “scheme” to resolve the Palestinian issue by “creating some kind of protectorate.” This would either be “under the leadership of Arab countries that do not need that,” or under the auspices of the UN – which Lavrov said is reluctant to act while the situation on the ground remains unclear and Israel insists on destroying Hamas.

It is evident that Washington – alone or together with its allies – cannot “secretly throw together a sustainable and viable concept of the State of Palestine,” Lavrov added. “Even if they come up with something, it won’t last long, and it won’t bring peace and prosperity either to the Palestinians or Israel.”

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, with the ensuing hostilities resulting in the deaths of more than 1,200 Israelis and 18,000 Palestinians. Russia has condemned the Palestinian militant movement, but has also voiced serious concerns about the Israeli response and its devastating impact on the civilian population in Gaza.