Russia sees US readiness to resume Middle East Quartet’s work: Lavrov

MOSCOW (TASS): Russia sees the willingness of US President Joe Biden’s administration to resume the work of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, the US, the EU, and the UN), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Thursday at a press conference following talks with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid.

“We are interested in holding such a meeting [of the Middle East Quartet] after a long break. At this stage, we are talking about at the ministerial level. Our special envoys in the Quartet held talks several months ago. Everyone seemed to agree that the work can be resumed,” the Russian top diplomat noted. “The Biden administration is ready for this, unlike its predecessors. When this happens, it will depend on all the members of the Quartet. We are willing to do this at any time as we consider it useful to exchange views on how the international community can help create the conditions for an agreement between Israel and Palestine because only they can resolve all the remaining differences.”

The foreign minister said that Russia considered it important to use all options and negotiation formats in order to revive the process of Palestinian-Israeli settlement. “At this stage, our Israeli friends are focused on the socio-economic problems that exist in Palestine. We also contribute to this work, and this, of course, is necessary for Palestinian residents to feel more confident,” Lavrov went on to say. “In terms of the political aspects of the Middle East settlement, they have been paused so far. There are many reasons, however, we are convinced that it is crucial to resume talks in various formats. One of them, as I have already mentioned, is a direct dialogue between Israel and Palestine. Moscow is ready to provide its services for this, including its territory, if the parties agree to this,” the Russian top diplomat concluded.

Work to separate Syrian opposition members from terrorists in the Idlib province is far from being done, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“As for Idlib, the only way to resolve the situation based on Resolution 2254 is for our Turkish colleagues to complete the implementation of the agreements that were reached by Presidents Putin and Erdogan over two years ago, which suggest that normal, sane opposition should be separated from terrorists, namely the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham group (one of the names of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization outlawed in Russia),” he pointed out. “The process was launched but is far from being completed, there is a lot to be done,” Lavrov added.

“We keep discussing all this with our Turkish colleagues through military channels, particularly suggesting specific ways that would help us assist our Turkish partners in implementing the agreements made by the two presidents. Work continues but unfortunately it’s far from being done,” the Russian foreign minister noted.

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