MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russia and the United States are interested in constructive cooperation to promote peace process in the Middle East, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday after talks between Russian Foreign Ministry’s Envoy for the Middle East Settlement Vladimir Safronkov and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr.
"The sides discussed prospects for cooperation between Moscow and Washington on the track of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, including within the format of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators. The Russian side hailed the United States’ readiness to resume its full-fledged participation in the Quartet and spoke in favor of invigorating bilateral dialogue on the Middle East settlement problems," the ministry said.
"In general, the sides stated mutual commitment to constructive cooperation in order to promote peace process in the Middle East," it noted.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said earlier that the organization was ready to begin arrangements for a meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian settlement as the time was ripe for it following the change of the US administration.
Members of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators (Russia, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations) have agreed to maintain regular contacts and stressed the importance of direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday after a Quartet online meeting.
"The Russian side stressed the importance of efforts to create conditions for the soonest resumption of the Quartet-mediated direct Palestinian-Israeli talks in the interests of settling fundamental issues of the final status on the basis of the internationally-recognized two-state solution envisaging peaceful co-existence of two states - Palestine and Israel. It was stressed that unilateral steps are inadmissible, whether it be instigating violence or expansion of settlement activities, including breaking Palestinian buildings on the West Bank," the ministry said. "Participants agreed to organize meetings in the Quartet format regularly."
Addressing the United Nations Security Council debates on the Middle East settlement on January 26, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested a ministerial meeting of the Quartet members, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, as the co-author of the Arab Peace Initiative, be held in the spring or summer 2021.