MOSCOW, June 8 /TASS/. Moscow sees no need to amend the Arab peace initiative on settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday.
The Israeli prime minister who had met the Russian president in Moscow the day before did not call for any amendments.
"I did not hear any demands for amending the Arab peace initiative in the remarks of [Israeli Prime Minister -TASS] Benjamin Netanyahu. It is integral and embraces the entire set of relations between Israel and the Arab countries, including Palestine of course. There is no need to amend it," the Russian foreign minister said.
According to Lavrov, the Arab peace initiative is a universal document, which everybody regards as basic.
"Saudi Arabia was the first to forward the initiative, which was later joined by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the entire Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Honestly, the report, which the quartet’s representatives are currently preparing following the instructions of the quartet’s session held in February this year, is designed to confirm and update the international legal framework for the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. We hope that our partners in the ‘quartet’ will try to finish the work on this report, especially the recommendations contained in it, as soon as possible," Lavrov said.
Moscow seeks resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli talks as soon as possible.
"We noted with concern the degradation of relations at this stage," Lavrov said. "It is essential to take additional steps to overcome this negative trend to prevent further escalation of the situation."
"We believe that today there is high demand in abandoning further confrontation and in creating conditions to resume political process in the interests of an all-encompassing, fair and stable Palestinian-Israeli settlement," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.
"In this context, we believe it is important to use more actively the potential of the ‘Quartet’ of the Middle East mediators that can find the way out of the current deadlock," Lavrov said.
"Together with partners in the ‘Quartet’ we are preparing now a report with the respective recommendations. We expect that this report will become an important contribution towards efforts on reviving the peace process.".
"We, in principle, support any initiatives, which are going to help us at this difficult stage, when the situation is degrading, to reverse the trend and create conditions for resuming the direct talks," Lavrov said. "In pursuit of this goal and in view of the need to prepare conditions for resuming the talks, we took part in the Paris meeting on June 3," the Russian foreign minister said.
"We used the existing international legal decisions to promote these approaches into the final document of the Paris meeting. We will see how much we succeeded and how helpful these efforts will be in the process of resuming the talks as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, we will try to make the talks begin as soon as possible," Lavrov said.