New York, 27 April 2023 (TDI): Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, recently delivered a speech at the United Nations Security Council, emphasizing the need for stability, collaboration, and diplomatic settlement in the Middle East.

He underlined the necessity of developing a durable and inclusive security and cooperation architecture in the region by diligent work with all regional governments, both bilaterally and through international institutions.

Lavrov appreciated the positive changes that have occurred in the Middle East, including the restoration of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, plans to reintegrate Syria into the Arab family, and signs of progress toward resolving the Yemen conflict.

He also cited that Russia has assisted in normalizing ties between Damascus and Ankara using the advantages of the Astana format.

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However, Lavrov expressed grave concern about the increasing tensions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the disengagement line between Israel, Lebanon, and Syria.

The Foreign Minister denounced Israel’s unilateral acts, including settlement development, land expropriation, house destruction, and arbitrary detentions, which created an irreversible reality and raised tensions.

Lavrov stressed the necessity for all leading actors to reaffirm the two-state solution, safeguarding Palestinians’ right to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital and Israelis’ right to safe and peaceful coexistence with their neighbors and the region.

He urged all sides to refrain from taking unilateral moves that could aggravate the situation. He encouraged them to return to the bargaining table for a peaceful, long-term settlement.

The Foreign Minister also mentioned the escalating occurrences along the Blue Line with Lebanon, including the most substantial exchanges of missile attacks since 2006.

Additionally, Lavrov asked Western nations to pay more attention to enforcing UN decisions. He also drew attention to the inability of several Western countries to implement important accords on the Golan Heights, the West Sahara, the Kosovo settlement, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.

Minister Lavrov criticized the United States and the European Union for their destructive attempts to substitute genuine peace with economic half-measures and promote Arab-Israeli normalization while neglecting the just solution to the Palestinian problem and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Foreign Minister reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian problem peacefully and justly under international law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

According to Minister Lavrov, it is a violation of the UN Charter not to carry out the decisions of the UN Security Council, even though the veto right is an inherent and integral part of the procedures outlined in the Charter.

He emphasized the role of the UN as a coordinator of international diplomacy. He asked the Secretariat and the Secretary-General to pay strict attention to the execution of Security Council decisions, emphasizing the Middle East peace process.

The Minister called on Israel and Palestine to stop all unilateral actions that threaten the two-state formula, including terrorist and other military attacks, incitement to aggression, disproportionate use of force, irreversible settlement actions, and attempts to change Jerusalem’s status.

He also highlighted the need for Palestinian movements to unite under the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political platform for better socioeconomic conditions and administrative institutions. According to Lavrov, it will help prepare them for dialogue with Israel on behalf of the entire Palestinian people.

Moreover, Minister Lavrov acknowledged that Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations are working to restore Palestinian unity. He also appreciated Saudi Arabia’s unique role as the country behind the Arab Peace Initiative, Jordan’s custodianship of Jerusalem’s holy sites, the League of Arab States and the Islamic Cooperation Organization, and the UNRWA’s continued practical work.

Lavrov reiterated that Russia would continue to support Middle East and North African stability. He also reaffirmed Russia’s willingness to contribute to advancing the Middle East peace process with regional countries and cooperating with other good-faith mediators.