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President of Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Aziz Dwaik meets envoy to Russian Foreign Minister in Ramallah

January 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

On Wednesday (02.03.2011), the President of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Aziz Dweik, along with a number of other PLC deputies, met with a visiting Russian delegation which included the Russian Foreign Minster’s envoy, Alexander Ifimov and Russia’s representative to the Palestinian Authority, Alexander Rudakov. The two groups discussed recent developments in the Middle East as well as Russia’s role in facilitating internal Palestinian dialogue.

Dr Dwaik welcomed Russia’s role, expressing appreciations for its support of the Palestinian cause and its fairness and advocacy for the people of the region. It also thanked them for their support of Palestinian democracy, unlike the US which had repudiated the results of the 2006 elections. The Palestinian delegation reiterated a number of their core principles including freedom, justice, human dignity and the concept of universal human rights rejecting extremism and violence in its forms as contrary to both those principles and to their creed.

With regard to reconciliation (between Fatah and Hamas), the PLC representatives asserted its central significance saying that they had undertaken various efforts toward the achievement of internal reconciliation. Dr Dwaik said he had personally putting forward a number of initiatives but reconciliation was continuously thwarted by mediators, such as Egypt and the US, who were biased in favour of the Ramallah leadership at the expense of Gaza. They expressed hope that the Russians would play a more active and honest role in this regard. The Russians in turn confirmed the need for internal unity between Hamas, Fatah and all other Palestinian factions stressing that without unity no comprehensive political peace settlement could be achieved which would preclude regional stability. 

On the issue of elections; legislative, presidential and local, Dr Dwaik said that they supported them on the condition that they did not consecrate the Arab experience highlighting that there were those who would exploit elections for their own benefit as was the situation with Bahrain. He also emphasised that the political arena needs to be prepared for elections through the immediate release of all PA political detainees in the West Bank.

With regard to instability in the region, Dr Dwaik said that without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, which is the root of the problem, no balance could be achieved in the world despite  the international community sympathising with their plight

He said that a solution must be sought within the framework of the law and through dialogue on all regional issues. He also said that the fault lay with the Zionist occupation which had rejected or reneged on all initiatives previously put forward. He said the solution lay in the implementation of all international resolutions emphasising that Israel had also denied the results of the democratic process and refused to enter into dialogue with them.

The Russian stressed their country’s rejection of violence and the necessity that the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip be lifted considering it collective punishment of a civilian population.

With regard to the popular uprisings across the region, the PLC President said that they were corrective peaceful movements by victims of dictatorial regimes and the Western world’s ambitions and were the natural result of the double standards used in dealing with different peoples and regimes.

The detention of parliamentarians by Israel following the outcome of the 2006 elections until the present time were also discussed along with the situation faced by the Jerusalem PLC members threatened with deportation from Jerusalem. The Russian expressed their willingness to act as mediators in resolving the issue confirming that Russia had exerted a lot of pressure on Israel constantly demanding the release of these prisoners.

The Russian envoy is currently on a tour of the region which began with a visit to the Syrian capital of Damascus where he met with Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem and the leader of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal.  He then visited Ramallah where he met with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and the President of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Dweik, separately focussing on national reconciliation and the stalled peace process.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.