Russia says ready to promote ‘direct dialogue’ between Israel, Palestinians

MOSCOW — Russia is ready to promote direct contacts between Israel and the Palestinian leadership and working toward a high-level meeting of the Middle East Quartet mediating the Israel-Palestinian peace process, the Russian foreign minister says.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says after meeting with Palestinian Authority counterpart Riad al-Maliki, “We emphasized our readiness to facilitate direct dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis in order to resolve all fundamental final-status issues.”

Lavrov says Russia considers it crucial to hold a ministerial-level meeting of the Quartet, which consists of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

Al-Maliki says that the administration of US President Joe Biden “is again aware of its responsibility in the Quartet….We expect that this will create a new environment of trust.”

Al-Maliki says that during Donald Trump’s presidency, “the American administration showed that it openly leaned toward Israel. Based on this experience, we understand that we cannot return to that situation.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki shake hands as they leave a joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia, May 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

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