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Russia’s Lavrov: Palestinian division pretext to promote US ‘deal of century’

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia on 29 December 2018 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia on 29 December 2018 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that internal Palestinian division is used as a pretext to promote the US “deal of the century”.

During a meeting with the Palestinian factions in Moscow, Lavrov said that the Palestinians have to unite and talk with Israel, stressing that the Cairo agreement should be the basis for any Palestinian reconciliation, Al-Wattan Voice reported on yesterday.

“We understand individual interests, but they must be sorted out based on the rule: no loser and no winner,” Lavrov said, stressing that Palestinian reconciliation “must be a Palestinian, not external decision”.

He added: “Certain players might foil the reconciliation […] some of them are internal. Therefore, they also see the two-state solution is impossible.”

Lavrov cited the Cairo agreement – which was reached by the Palestinians factions in 2017 – as a good basis for resolving the differences among the Palestinian factions, saying: “In my opinion, this deal is an opportunity for reaching national agreement.”

The Russian official added that he hoped the Palestinian factions would agree on a final statement for the Moscow meetings and that this would be a further step towards ending Palestinian division.

READ: Fatah rejects Egyptian and Russian initiatives to meet Palestinian factions

Meanwhile, member of Hamas’ Political Bureau Hussam Badran – who is taking part in Moscow meetings – said today that there would be no final statement.

“[The] Moscow meetings did not issue any joint statement and will never issue one,” he wrote on Twitter, attributing this to the “well known political differences” among the “principle” Palestinian factions.

Funding for Peace - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Funding for Peace – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

He stated that there was an agreement on the needed efforts to tackle the so-called “deal of the century”, which, he said, aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause. “However,” Badran said, “Hamas maintains steadfast principles that keep up with the general Palestinian opinion, which is based on national principles [and] on top of which is the liberation of Palestinian and self-determination.”

Head of the Fatah delegation to Moscow, Azzam Al-Ahmad, confirmed that there was and will never be a final statement, referring to differences with the Islamic Jihad faction.

On Tuesday, the senior Islamic Jihad leader Mohammad Al-Hindi said that his movement did not sign the final statement because it stated that the [Palestine Liberation Organisation] PLO is the sole representative of Palestinian people, without referring to its reformation, as well as stated that any future Palestinian state would be within 1967 borders.

READ: Hamas presents vision to solve Palestine crisis in Russia

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