Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that creating a Palestinian state was the “most reliable” solution for peace in Israel and that fighting alone would not ensure security.
Lavrov spoke on Monday during a news conference with the head of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who visited Russia after Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza, launched a massive surprise attack on Saturday.
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Creating a “Palestinian state that would live side by side with Israel … is the most reliable path to solve [the conflict]”, Lavrov said.
“We cannot agree with those who say that security can only be ensured through a fight with terrorism.”
He said Moscow was “deeply concerned that hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians have died and that the Gaza Sector has been declared a target for Israeli retaliation”.
Lavrov said Russia – in the middle of its almost 20-month-long Ukraine offensive – had “serious questions” about Western policy on Israel.
“They say that [fighting] should be stopped immediately, that Israel should destroy the terrorists,” Lavrov said.
“But this was done before … and never after the situation calmed down did they come to the fact that the main reason [for the conflict] needs to be eliminated,” he said.
“The Palestinian problem should not be delayed further.”
Lavrov earlier said that Russia and the Arab League would work to “stop the bloodshed” in Israel and Gaza.
Aboul Gheit, meanwhile, said he condemned “the violence, but from all sides”.
“We demand the creation of political prospects and a fair resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said.
The Kremlin said on Monday it feared a foreign player could enter the conflict after the US moved warships closer to its ally Israel.
“The risk of third forces becoming involved in this conflict is high,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
“It is very important to find ways as soon as possible to move towards some kind of negotiation process in order to reduce this escalation and move away from a military solution,” he said.