MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia is ready to host talks between the leaders of Palestine and Israel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, addressing a conference on the Middle East organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club on Wednesday.
"We stand for direct talks. We are ready to host such talks, particularly because [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu suggested a few years ago that we invite him and [Palestinian leader] Mahmoud Abbas to Moscow to hold talks without preconditions. We agreed to host such a meeting, but unfortunately, our Israeli colleagues later asked us to postpone it and then postpone it once again," Lavrov pointed out, adding: "We have said that we remain ready [to host talks]."
The Russian top diplomat welcomed the resumed activities of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators (Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union). Moscow is confident that Arab countries also need to engage in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he added. Lavrov reiterated Russia’s initiative to hold a ministerial meeting involving the four mediators, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.