Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Moscow: ‘deal of the century’ threatens Middle East peace

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the U.S.-brokered “deal of the century” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict threatens the progress that has been reached to date. In a press conference, following a Russian brokered meeting on intra-Palestinian reconciliation – which included members from Hamas and the rivalry Palestinian Authority – the Russian top diplomat claimed that the unpresented American plan will promote a one-sided approach.

Sergei Lavrov said, “Unfortunately, the current situation in the Israeli-Palestinian settlement leaves much to be desired. It is very, very worrying. The clearest danger we can see if from the position of the U.S. administration which is aimed at promoting one-sided approaches without taking into account the opinions of other member of the international community. It is aimed at breaking the most important, key, fundamental instruments of international law in the settlement of the Palestinian question.”

The Russian brokered meeting failed to attain any progress for intra-Palestinian reconciliation, since the Islamist Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations refused to sign the final statement presented by the Russian Foreign Minister. The leader of the Islamic Jihad explained that neither his organization, nor Hamas, could accept a paper that reiterated the PLO, which is headed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, as the sole legal representative of the Palestinians. He further added that the paper also called for “the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” a demand vehemently rejected by both Islamist groups that openly aspire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to TV7’s request for comment.