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Russia did not propose US-Palestine summit on Middle East settlement — senior diplomat

According to the Russian envoy, the Middle East Quartet consultations between the special envoys of the Middle East Quartet members will hardly lead to a breakthrough
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Russia did not propose to hold a US-Palestine summit on the Middle East peace settlement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS, commenting on the rumors that appeared in the media.

"This is a complete nonsense," he said.

"They come up with all sorts of phantasmagoria. It’s ridiculous, it’s delirious. They make it out of whole cloth; they fantasize and then attribute it to me that I introduced some kind of proposal. We have only one proposal — to comply with the UN Security Council resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, that’s all we propose," the deputy foreign minister said.

He also debunked US media reports that he purportedly discussed perspectives of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement with some officials from the US National Security Council.

Earlier, the US-based Axios news website claimed, citing unnamed Western diplomats, that Russia allegedly proposed to organize a meeting between the US and Palestine with participation of other members of the Middle East Quartet (the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia itself) and a number of other states. Later, media speculated that such a meeting might take place at the highest level and may include separate contacts between Russia and the US on the Middle East issue.

Meanwhile, according to the Russian diplomat, the Middle East Quartet consultations between the special envoys of the Middle East Quartet members will hardly lead to a breakthrough.

"Consultations will involve the special envoys of the Middle East Quartet. I hope that the meeting will take place in the near future. It is most likely to be held on the phone, but a video conference is also possible," he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin is expected to represent Russia at the consultations.

However, Bogdanov was skeptical about the meeting. "The Americans are promoting their ‘Deal of the Century," which is completely unacceptable to the Palestinians," he noted, when asked if the upcoming consultations could produce any results amid rising tensions.

On May 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the time had come to annex parts of the West Bank. In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 19 announced an end to all agreements with Israel and the United States.