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Russia: Lavrov hosts ministers from Arab, Muslim countries to discuss war on Gaza

November 21, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C) poses for a group photo with foreign ministers from members of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, in Moscow on November 21, 2023 [EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is holding talks today in Moscow with his counterparts from Arab and Muslim-majority countries to discuss Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, announced that “A meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov with delegations from foreign ministries of a number of Arab League and OIC countries is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Moscow.”

“They will arrive in the Russian capital city in line with the decision made at the Riyadh summit to discuss the situation around the Gaza Strip,” she said.

The meeting of members of the Ministerial Committee formed out of the Arab-Islamic Summit consists of Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Palestine and Indonesia and Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Hussein Ibrahim Taha.

READ: G7’s top diplomats due to issue statement on Gaza conflict

Al Arabiya reports that Russia which has previously maintained close ties with the occupation state, has assumed “a cautiously pro-Palestinian position since the outbreak of war around Gaza, rebuking Israel for civilian casualties, and restating its long-standing support for a Palestinian state.”

Yesterday the delegation along with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan held similar meetings in Beijing with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi where they called for an urgent ceasefire.

“The international community must act urgently, taking effective measures to prevent this tragedy from spreading. China firmly stands with justice and fairness in this conflict,” Wang told the visiting ministers in opening remarks ahead of talks.

Saudi’s Prince Faisal said:

The message is clear: the war must stop immediately, we must move to a ceasefire immediately, and relief materials and aid must enter immediately.

As of this month, China assumed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. In addition to meetings in Beijing and Moscow, the joint Arab-OIC delegation is looking to meet with officials representing the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is hoped that they can exert pressure on Western states to reject Israel’s justification of “self-defence” for its genocidal actions against Palestinians.

READ: Ministers from Arab, Muslim countries embark on China visit to end Gaza war