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Russia offers Arab League to collaborate in ending bloodshed in Palestine-Israel conflict

October 9, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov (not seen) in Moscow, Russia on 19 May 2023 [Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Anadolu Agency]

Russia and the Arab League should contribute to ending the bloodshed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said on Monday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Russia and the Arab League, all members of this organisation, can and should contribute to solving problems, first of all, ending the bloodshed and suffering of civilians

Russia’s top diplomat said at his meeting with the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in Moscow.

Lavrov emphasised that, in addition to putting an end to the fighting and finding a solution to the issue of the civilians, who are suffering greatly under the current circumstances, it is crucial to pay close attention to the factors that have prevented a lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue.

The Minister also noted that the reasons why the conflict has not been settled over decades have to be thoroughly analysed.

READ: Germany, Austria suspend bilateral aid to Palestine after Hamas attack

The Gaza-based Resistance group, Hamas, launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel early Saturday, firing a barrage of rockets. It said the surprise attack was in response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem and increased settler violence.

In retaliation, the Israeli army launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 560 Palestinians and wounding at least 2,900 others.

At least 800 Israelis have been killed and over 2,300 others wounded in the fighting, according to the Israeli Health Ministry.

Lavrov criticises West for its imbalanced position

Lavrov said any violence, damage or killing of civilians, regardless of which side they take, is “unacceptable” to Russia.

“Both the Arab League and Russia, in parallel, almost simultaneously urged to immediate cease-fire, to end of hostilities, any violence and transfer to talks,” he noted.

The Minister expressed concern over “hundreds of dead” and “thousands of injured” on both sides, declaring the Gaza Strip a “target” for Israeli strikes and skirmishes on the Jordan River’s west bank.

“The conflict potential is accumulating on the Israeli-Lebanese border,” he said.

The official criticised the West for condemning the attack against Israel and calls “to destroy terrorists,” saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen a lot of escalations, the problem is that once the tensions are eased no efforts have been made to implement a two-state solution, which is the key for the peace in the region.

The Palestinian problem cannot be postponed any longer, and it is time to implement the UN decisions

he stressed.

Russia has repeatedly confirmed its interest in the security of both Palestine and Israel, but the US is trying to monopolise mediation efforts for a settlement, he noted.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, for his part, said the Arab League takes a “logical and balanced position” on the conflict and thanked Russia for its position in the UN Security Council.

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“Now many positions on the world stage are twofold, but Russia takes a clear position in this context. We touched upon a number of topics and crises that concern the Arab world. We understand that Russia plays an important role here. For example, in the issues of Syria, Libya, Sudan,” he noted.

Palestinian-Israeli impact on situation in Ukraine

Lavrov said Russia will faster achieve its goals in Ukraine if the West supplies fewer weapons to Kyiv, and that this will benefit non-proliferation because “weapons supplied to Ukraine are spreading in huge numbers all over the world.”

The Minister argued that the termination of the grain deal has no impact on the food security of developing countries, the partners of the Russian Federation “are not at a disadvantage.”

Russia will continue humanitarian grain supplies to countries in need and fulfil its obligations, he said.

For his part, Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the Arab League is ready to assist in mediation efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

The official said the Russia-Ukraine war has a negative impact on the economies of a number of Arab countries, particularly in terms of food supplies.

“I confirmed to Minister Lavrov the position of the Arab states calling for a cessation of hostilities within the framework of a settlement that suits both sides,” he said.

Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum to meet in December

The Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum remains “an important mechanism” of cooperation with Arab countries, Lavrov said, adding that its previous meeting was held in April 2019 in Moscow, but the coronavirus pandemic “interfered” and disrupted plans for another gathering.

“Today, we confirmed the mutual intention to hold another meeting of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in December this year in the Moroccan (city of) Marrakesh,” he said.

The Minister said the recent developments in the world and in the Middle East showed the importance of the coordination between Moscow and the Arab League.

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