Egyptian, Russian FMs warn of annexation’s ‘perils,’ call for two-state solution
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Egyptian, Russian FMs warn of annexation’s ‘perils,’ call for two-state solution

Extending Israeli sovereignty ‘could provoke a new and dangerous round of violence in the region,’ Shoukry and Lavrov say

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on August 21, 2017.  (AFP/Alexander Nemenov)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on August 21, 2017. (AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

Sergey Lavrov and Sameh Shoukry, the foreign ministers of Russia and Egypt, respectively, warned Israel against unilaterally annexing parts of the West Bank, according to statements issued after a Wednesday phone call.

Lavrov and Sameh made the announcement after a call they said addressed “regional issues.” Lavrov’s office said that the call had been planned at Shoukry’s initiative.

“The ministers noted annexing sections of Palestinian land on the West Bank of the Jordan River will threaten the prospects for the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem and could provoke a new and dangerous round of violence in the region,” Lavrov’s office said in a statement.

Russia recently announced its willingness to host Israeli-Palestinian talks in Moscow in a bid to prevent annexation and restart the peace process. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said in a statement on Tuesday that he would be willing to attend bilateral talks in Moscow under Russian auspices.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during their talks in Moscow, Russia, December 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Shoukry cautioned against unilateral annexation, saying that it would “lead to an increasingly complex situation and affect security and stability.”

Both parties affirmed their commitment to a two-state solution.

The statements come amid a wave of regional and international criticism of the planned Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank under the peace plan being advanced by the Trump administration in the US.

Jordanian officials, including the kingdom’s prime minister and foreign minister, have threatened to reconsider their treaties and agreements with Israel in the event of annexation.

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz speaks to CNN, March 2, 2020. (CNN screenshot)

“We will not accept unilateral Israeli moves to annex Palestinian lands and we would be forced to review all aspects of our relations with Israel,” Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz told Jordanian state news agency Petra in late May.

Razzaz made his statement mere days after Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned in an interview with Der Spiegel that if Israel “really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”

Despite the steady drumbeat of Jordanian statements against annexation, Cairo has remained relatively quiet. Shoukry’s statement did not indicate if Egypt would consider reviewing its own treaty with Israel.

Egypt and Israel have had a peace treaty since 1978, when Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and prime minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords.

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