Russia, which is fast becoming the most prominent foreign power in the Middle East, has decided to become involved in an area that once was under an exclusive US domain: on Friday, TASS reported, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference that the lack of direct talks between Israel and the PA has stalled negotiations and has had a negative influence on the region.
“I am convinced that it is bad not to have direct dialogue,” Lavrov said. “Actually, we did put forward a proposal, after having received consent from both sides, to host a meeting of [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu without prior conditions, as soon as they are in fact ready for this.”
“Naturally, we will provide them with a chance to discuss the situation,” the Russian FM said. “I hope it will help to break the deadlock in negotiations, as their absence has a significant negative impact on the situation both in the region and in the relations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
The Russian top diplomat reminded his audience of the PLO’s failure to embrace Israeli generous offers in Camp David and Annapolis in the US, and noted that “maybe, we can question if [the PA] was right to reject the proposals made in Camp David.” He added that today those proposals “can be seen as an unattainable dream, but we have what we have.”
“Unfortunately, we fail to learn from others’ mistakes and, in my opinion, we will not be able to learn from ours,” Lavrov mused.
“We are very alarmed by a deepening deadlock in the Israel-Palestine crisis,” Lavrov concluded. “Last but not the least, we are concerned since a lack of solution to the Palestine crisis has been actively employed by extremists over the past 70 years so as to recruit the youth by referring to the fact that the international community commits injustice to the nation suffering in the oldest conflict to date.”
It’s a touching concern for justice on the part of Russia, which should probably be shared with, say, the Ukraine, Chechnya, the country of Georgia, the Syrian rebel armies – the list goes on and on…