Russia ‘completely understands’ Palestinian anger at Trump
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Russia ‘completely understands’ Palestinian anger at Trump

FM Lavrov says Abbas has made concessions for years 'without receiving anything in return,' says chances of deal are 'approaching zero'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives his annual press conference in Moscow on January 15, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives his annual press conference in Moscow on January 15, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV)

MOSCOW, Russia — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said Moscow “understands” the anger of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who earlier denounced White House peace efforts as the “slap of the century.”

“We completely understand the emotions the Palestinians currently have. For years they made concessions without receiving anything in return,” Lavrov said at an annual press conference in Moscow.

“We constantly hear that the US is about to unveil an important deal (on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) that would satisfy all sides. We have not seen this kind of document,” Lavrov added.

Palestinian leaders on Monday held a meeting called after US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinians want the city as the capital of their future state and Abbas has said Trump’s stance means the US can no longer be the mediator in peace talks with Israel.

In December, Abbas sent delegations to China and Russia to ask them to take on a greater role in the peace process with Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) arrives for a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 14, 2018.(AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

Lavrov said Russia welcomed the Palestinians because “they were ready for direct talks with the Israelis without preconditions.” The Palestinians have rejected numerous calls by Israeli leaders to reenter peace talks without preconditions.

Moscow’s chief diplomat added that the chances of direct contact between the two sides are “unfortunately approaching zero.”

Lavrov went on to say “the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of the most serious factors that allows radicals to recruit newer and newer generations of terrorists.”

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since they collapsed in 2014.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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