Lavrov Cautions Against U.S. Efforts to Replace Palestinian Statehood by Pushing for Permanent U.N. Membership

Credits: Prothom Alo English

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced concerns on Saturday about a potential move by the US and certain other countries to sidestep the establishment of a Palestinian state by instead advocating for Palestine’s formal acceptance as a full member of the United Nations.

Lavrov made these remarks during a news conference at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye. Lavrov suggested that such a plan could be a tactic to divert attention from the ongoing situation on the ground, where the status quo persists with no unified Palestinian state and much of the Palestinian territories remaining under Israeli occupation.

He emphasized that while the announcement of Palestine’s UN membership might have a symbolic impact, it would not address the underlying issues.

Lavrov (Credits: Sputnik News)

Currently, Palestine holds observer state status at the UN General Assembly, a designation it obtained in November 2012. Lavrov criticized Israel’s efforts to transform the Gaza Strip into a “buffer zone,” stating that these actions violate international legal norms.

Highlighting the importance of establishing a Palestinian state, Lavrov emphasized that it is essential for achieving peace in the Middle East and addressing the grievances of the Arab population.

He called for Palestinian groups to reconcile and urged Israel to engage in talks with a unified negotiator recognized by all Palestinians.

Lavrov also shared insights from discussions with his Palestinian counterpart Riyadh al-Maliki, who informed him about the approval of a communique at an intra-Palestinian meeting held in Moscow.

This communique reportedly endorsed the platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), signaling progress towards Palestinian unity.

Regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Lavrov expressed concern about the humanitarian situation and the toll of the Israeli military offensive since October 7, 2023. He cited significant casualties and widespread destruction, as well as the imposition of a blockade causing shortages of essential goods.

Israel faces accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, with an interim ruling in January urging Tel Aviv to halt genocidal acts and ensure humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in Gaza.

Lavrov’s comments underscore the complex diplomatic challenges surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the need for concerted international efforts to achieve a just and lasting resolution.

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