Russia

US Pushing Israel and Palestine Towards Catastrophe — Russian FM Lavrov

 / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow / Go to the mediabank

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia does not see any prospects for a quick stabilization of the situation around the Gaza Strip, especially against the backdrop of Israeli plans to expand the military operation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov has addressed attendees of the 13th annual Middle East Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club. The event entitled “Time for decisive action: a comprehensive settlement for the sake of stability in the region” is supported by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.In his speech, Lavrov touched upon a variety of pressing issues about the unraveling developments in the Middle East.

No Prospects for Palestine-Israel Settlement at the Moment

The minister emphasized that the recent expansion of Israel’s ground operation further into the Gaza Strip dramatically undermines a potential resolution to the ongoing conflict. «Taking into account the uncompromising attitude of the Israeli leadership to continue the military operation in Gaza, now extending it to Rafah, we do not see prospects for the rapid stabilization of the situation in this sector,» Lavrov noted.MultimediaAftermath of Missile Hits on Gaza’s Rafah — PhotosYesterday, 13:31 GMTIt is necessary to look for a way out of this catastrophic situation, the minister said, adding that it is the US that is «pushing Palestine, Israel and the entire Middle East into a catastrophe.»

US Seeks to Exclude Russia From MidEast Resolution

Washington intends to exclude Moscow from international efforts for a Middle East crisis settlement, as the US is betting on its own dominance in the region, Lavrov added.

"The Americans have chosen to bet on their dominance in the region and already work on excluding Russia from various international efforts aimed at creating conditions for lasting peace and stability," he underlined.

The FM recalled that Washington effectively «blocked the work of international mediators on the Middle East settlement, consisting of Russia, the US, the UN and the EU.»Lavrov added that in the current situation, the US applies «its recipes that are divorced from reality and one-sided solutions that ignore the specifics of either countries or the region as a whole.»

Russia Suggests Holding Intra-Palestinian Dialogue

According to the Russian foreign minister, Moscow plans to hold an inter-Palestinian meeting in the «foreseeable future» with the support of the Palestinians themselves.»We propose holding an inter-Palestinian meeting with the participation of all leading factions to overcome the internal division,» the minister shared.Lavrov also pointed out that at the UN, Russia had drawn attention to the long-standing Russian initiative to hold consultations involving key countries in the region in order to harmonize their approaches and support the creation of a Palestinian state.

Russia Keeps Working on Evacuating People From Gaza

Lavrov also noted that Russia continues to try to evacuate citizens of the Russian Federation and other countries from the Gaza Strip. WorldRussia Evacuates Citizens of Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Sweden, Morocco From Gaza28 December 2023, 10:57 GMT

"We continue to work on the evacuation of citizens of Russia, Israel and other countries from the combat zone. We cooperate with Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinians from Gaza. We have evacuated about 1,200 of our compatriots and their families, including citizens of other countries… We keep pursuing these efforts," he concluded.

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