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Moscow to Mediate Between Palestinians, Israelis

Moscow to Mediate Between Palestinians, Israelis

Friday, 22 May, 2020 - 05:15
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with Russian President Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Moscow, Riyadh - Raed Jaber, Asharq Al-Awsat

Russia's Foreign Ministry revealed Thursday Moscow’s efforts to facilitate holding a meeting of the Middle East Quartet in the next coming days.

A diplomatic source told the Novosti agency that contacts were initiated to set a date for the meeting, which would be held at the level of special envoys.

Palestine's Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Asharq Al-Awsat that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lately sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin asking him to prepare a Middle East peace summit in Moscow in the presence of all concerned parties to set an international mechanism tasked with monitoring the deal.

“The Russian response was positive,” the ambassador said.

Moscow had announced its support to mediate between Palestinians and Israelis, however, it ruled out playing a role to bring the US-Palestinian viewpoints over the US peace plan closer.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa dismissed a report by Axios citing Western diplomats which suggested that Russia had offered to facilitate a meeting between the US and Palestinian Authority officials in Geneva in the coming weeks, describing it as “complete nonsense.”

Commenting on the telephone conversation he held with Avi Berkowitz, a senior advisor to Trump's peace plan architect Jared Kushner, Bogdanov said: “Berkowitz called me and began to argue the need to push the ‘Deal of the Century’ forward. I told him that this was impossible, because [the US side knows] the position of the Palestinians, the position of all Arabs and the Arab League on this matter perfectly well.”

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi to reaffirm Russia’s willingness along with its Middle East Quartet (Russia, US, EU, UN) partners to assist to re-launch peace process through dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

In a related development, the Saudi Foreign Ministry affirmed the Kingdom’s rejection of the Israeli measures and plans to annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank and impose Israeli sovereignty over them.

The kingdom denounced any unilateral actions, and any violations of internationally- sanctioned resolutions or any measures that might undermine the chances of resuming the peace process to achieve security and stability in the region.

It also reaffirmed the Saudi steadfast stance towards the brotherly Palestinian people and that it has consistently stood by them and supported their choices and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Ministry also reiterates the Kingdom's support for efforts to advance negotiations in accordance with internationally-sanctioned resolutions, aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution that meets the aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people.

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