Creating the conditions for a direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel will depend, among other things, on the upcoming March parliamentary elections in Israel and the approaches of the new US administration to the Middle East settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Wednesday after talks with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Hussein Abdullah al-Safadi.
Asked about the readiness of Palestine and Israel to resume direct negotiations, Lavrov pointed to the need to actively encourage such an intention, primarily by the Quartet of international mediators (Russia, the US, the UN and the European Union) and Arab countries. "In this sense, of course, it must be borne in mind that there are a number of events that will directly affect the creation of conditions for such direct dialogue," the Minister pointed out.
In particular, Lavrov reminded that early parliamentary elections will take place in Israel on March 23, and based on their results, it will be possible to talk about the Israeli side's readiness to consider proposals for direct talks. "Secondly, in order that the Quartet of international mediators could fulfill its role, it's important to wait until the corresponding bloc of the US administration is formed and the new White House masters' approaches to the Palestinian-Israeli problem are formed," continued the Russian Foreign Minister.
He explained that afterward, it will be clear what positions the Quartet might take. "But it is already clear for us that these positions can't be other than those aimed at a two-state solution," Lavrov emphasized.
The head of the Russian diplomatic office also drew attention to the issue of restoring Palestinian unity. "As for Palestine, the rift is gradually but steadily being overcome thanks to the efforts of external players and Arab countries, especially Egypt. Russia is also making its contribution to Palestinian reconciliation," Foreign Minister Lavrov said, noting that Jordanian friends were also working hard on this issue.
"Thanks to all these efforts, as you know, it was announced that a series of elections will be held this summer [in Palestine]: parliamentary, presidential, and to the Palestinian National Council. I believe that this will be a very important, crucial, in fact, step toward restoring Palestinian unity," Lavrov concluded.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry
Based on materials from TASS