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Russia Foreign Minister calls number of civilian casualties in Gaza 'appalling'

December 1, 2023 at 5:34 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Skopje, North Macedonia on December 01, 2023 [Furkan Abdula/Anadolu Agency]

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, on Friday called “appalling” the statistics on the number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

The statistics announced by the heads of the United Nations and its various departments that work in the Middle East are appalling, the number of dead civilians

he said in response to an Anadolu reporter’s question at a news conference in Skopje on results of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) meeting.

The Minister recalled that US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during his visit to Israel, urged the country’s authorities to “minimise the consequences for the civilian population,” assessing the statement as “minimum of what could have been done.”

Lavrov noted that Russia went beyond and proposed a ceasefire, adding that a corresponding draft resolution was promptly submitted to the UN Security Council soon after the conflict erupted.

“We were not allowed to do this. The US was against it. Then Brazil proposed a similar resolution, the US vetoed it,” he said.

Then, Middle Eastern nations presented the draft resolution to the UN General Assembly, which endorsed it. Subsequently, Brazil proposed a new initiative in the UN Security Council, and Russia abstained from voting, acknowledging its weaker position compared to the UN General Assembly resolution, Lavrov said.

The Minister also criticised the Israeli leadership for promising to continue hostilities “until Hamas is destroyed”.

I’m not going to go into details right now … but the law of warfare has not been abolished, I think it is necessary to remember this

he stressed.

According to Lavrov, the solution to the problem that would allow Israel to ensure its security lies within the establishment of a Palestinian State in the 1967 borders and the capital in East Jerusalem.

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