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US decision on Jerusalem aggravates deadlock in Palestine-Israel settlement — Lavrov

May 11, 2018, 14:11 UTC+3

Moscow is very much concerned about the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, the Russian top diplomat said

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MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US Embassy there only intensifies the deadlock in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a meeting with Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

"We are very much concerned about the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. That’s the deadlock, and this deadlock is becoming deeper and deeper, especially in light of the well-known US decisions on Jerusalem," Lavrov said. "All countries express profound concern over the explosive potential that has accumulated, which can detonate at any moment and which has already resulted in loss of life."

"Concurrently, disturbing attempts are being made to change the configuration of the entire geopolitical map of the Middle East and North Africa in such a way so as to put the Palestinian problem on the back burner. We are certain that this is a very dangerous path and that, given the importance and the severity of the crises in Syria, the situation in Yemen, around Iraq, Libya, in spite of the need for additional efforts to resolve these conflicts, we have no right to put off the Palestinian problem, which is very important from the standpoint of changing the overall atmosphere in the region for the better," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

According to Lavrov, Moscow is in favor of making the role played by the [Middle East] Quartet (Russia, the US, the UN and the EU) as active as possible. "Unfortunately, this has not been observed so far. I hope to discuss with you what we can do to make sure that the Quartet as a universally recognized mediator in the Middle East processes and the UN decisions dedicated to the Palestinian-Israeli settlement do not sink into oblivion," Lavrov noted.

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