Arab League should lead initiative to establish state of Palestine, Russia


Russia says the first step towards the establishment of the state of Palestine must be for the divided Palestinians to rebuild unity of all factions, Al Jazeera reports.

“They themselves need to determine which principles will establish the basis for the restoration of the unity of their people,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Arab nations and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation he just met are “very resolute” that an official decision should be made about the creation of a Palestinian state, and negotiations should start and be accompanied “by neutral and effective mediators”, Lavrov said.

Unfortunately, he added, the so-called Quartet on the Middle East mediators — the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia — “exists no longer”. He blamed the US for thwarting its efforts and insisting it could handle mediation alone.

Lavrov said regional countries led by the Arab League should take the initiative to establish “a mediation mechanism that would prepare ideally an international conference on the Palestinian issue” to move toward a two-state solution.

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