Lavrov: Efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace unimpressive – Israel News

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov attends his annual news conference in Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov attends his annual news conference in Moscow.

On what could be the eve of the publication of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a grassroots group of delegation of Israelis and Palestinians that diplomatic efforts to at peace making were “unimpressive.”

In what seemed to be a dig at the US-led efforts to reconcile Israelis and Palestinians, Lavrov said that “efforts to promote the peace process are not very impressive in the last couple of years. You know the details. We know the details.”

Russia would like to be the main broker for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and has persistently invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to a peace summit in Moscow with no success.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday tweeted a short video of the meeting with the Israeli-Palestinian NGO the Geneva Initiative, including brief remarks by Lavrov. His statement was also posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

“We know about your views about your endeavors to bring peace to the very important part of the Middle East,” Lavrov told the members of the Geneva Initiative during his first ever meeting with the group. Also present at the meeting was Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, as well as the initiative’s delegation consisting of former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian minister Samih el-Abed and the initiative’s director-generals Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha.

Lavrov welcomed the group’s efforts “to promote the resolution of the Palestinian issue so that both Israel and Palestine and all other countries in the region can live in peace and security.”

Earlier this month, Netanyahu visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin. The latter is expected to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah in January of next year.

For close to two decades, the Geneva Initiative has promoted a plan for two-state solution to the conflict that has been agreed upon by grassroots Israelis and Palestinians, but has not been accepted by either government. It was first unveiled in a ceremony in Geneva in 2003, at a time when the peace process was deadlocked.

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