Middle East settlement impossible without Palestine’s consent, Russian UN envoy says

  • 08:21 12 February 2020

Middle East settlement impossible without Palestine’s consent, Russian UN envoy says

The United States’ "deal of the century" has drawn attention to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but fair solution will require invigorated efforts of the Middle East Quartet of mediators, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Tuesday, APA reports citing TASS.

"The ‘deal of the century,’ whatever you may think of it, has drawn attention to the Palestinian problem. We are convinced that coordinated efforts of the international community are needed to reach a fair and lasting settlement," he said at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. "We think that in the current situation, it is necessary to invigorate efforts of the quartet of international mediators, which is the only mechanism of promoting the Middle East process that has been recognized by the UN Security Council."

The Russian diplomat reiterated Moscow’s readiness to provide a venue for talks between Palestine and Israel. "Despite the divergence, both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Representative Danny Danon spoke today about the necessity to continue talks. In this context, we keep on the table our suggestion that Moscow be used as a venue for direct talks between the Palestinian and Israeli leaders without preliminary conditions," Nebenzya said.

"We have repeatedly said that we will accept any peace plan that would be accepted by both sides," he stressed. "But what if one side - Palestine - considers the plan to be unfair and refuses to accept it? The plan that suggests that key problems of the ultimate status of the Palestinian territories be resolved through unilateral concessions. After all, how can a fair solution be reached unilaterally?"

On January 28, US President Donald Trump unveiled key provisions of what he calls "the deal of the century," or a peace plan for Israel and Palestine based on mutual recognition of the two-state solution. The plan provides for recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jewish settlements already built on the Palestinian territory. Under the plan, Jerusalem will be "undivided" capital of Israel and East Jerusalem will be Palestine’s capital. As a precondition for the peace process, according to Trump, Palestine’s authorities should stop supporting the Hamas radical movement operating in Gaza and cease hostilities. The plan suggests more than 50 billion US dollars be facilitated in new investments over ten years as support to the settlement efforts. More than a half of the sum is supposed to go to Palestine and the rest is planned to be invested in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced support to Trump’s plan and expressed readiness for immediate launch of peace talks with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas turned down Trump’s deal.

Faig Mahmudov