Acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, Moscow, May 11, 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018 14:09

Mr Mladenov,

Dear Nickolay,

We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Middle East peace process with you, since you are in charge of this dossier at the UN as it enters a very important and critical stage. The developments around the Israeli-Palestinian settlement are a matter of grave concern for Russia. The situation there has hit an impasse that is becoming increasingly apparent, especially in light of the decision by the United States on Jerusalem. All countries have expressed grave concern as the situation is becoming increasingly explosive and can detonate any minute. There are casualties already.

At the same we are witnessing alarming attempts to reshape the entire geopolitical map of the Middle East and North Africa so as to relegate the Palestinian issue to the background. We strongly believe that this would be dangerous. No matter how important and urgent the crisis in Syria is, the developments in Yemen and around Iraq and Libya, and no matter the additional efforts we need to undertake in order to overcome conflict situations, we have no right to leave the Palestinian issue until later, since its settlement is essential for improving the overall environment in the region. In this connection, Russia calls for the Quartet on the Middle East consisting of the UN, Russia, the EU and the United States to be as proactive as possible. Unfortunately, this has not been the case so far.

Today, I am looking forward to discussing with you ways to ensure that the Quartet as the generally recognised intermediary in the Middle East issues and UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian settlement are not forgotten.

Once again, welcome to Moscow.

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