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Lavrov says US ‘deal of the century’ violates international law

February 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Munich, Germany on 15 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Middle East “peace plan” known as the “deal of the century” drafted by the United States violates international law by giving concessions in favour of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.

“The US, in its usual style, suggested solving one of the most long-standing conflicts of our time in one fell swoop,” Lavrov told Italy’s La Stampa on Monday. “In addition, Washington inherently ignored the generally recognised international legal framework for a Middle East agreement, which includes the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

The Russian official warned that the plan gives concessions in favour of Israel which do not contribute to solving the Palestinian issue.

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He stressed that the Palestinians and the Israelis should make “genuine” efforts to resolve the conflict between them, noting that Russia as a member of the Middle East Quartet could act as a mediator.

“In this context, we support the position… of Arab League member states on the need for multilateral negotiations on the Middle East settlement under international auspices. We believe this role can be assumed by the quartet of international mediators, which is the only mechanism authorised by the UN Security Council to support the Middle East peace process.”

US President Donald Trump held a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 28 January to announce the details of what was optimistically called a “peace plan”. Its terms have been rejected by the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union, as well as the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian factions. Commentators have labelled the plan as a “surrender document”.