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Russia ready to provide venue in Moscow for Palestinian-Israeli talks, lawmaker says

Russia supports a meeting of the Middle East Quartet, head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky said

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Russia is ready to provide a venue in Moscow for negotiations on Palestinian-Israeli settlement, head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky said on YouTube channel Solovyev Live on Saturday.

"Russia supports a meeting of the Middle East Quartet. <...> However, the United States acted out yet again, saying that it was not ready for it," the lawmaker noted. "We are also proposing to convene another ‘quartet,’ purely Middle Eastern this time from the geographical point of view," he explained. The lawmaker noted that he meant Israel, Palestine, Arab countries that re-established diplomatic ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia.

"We are ready to provide them with the venue in Moscow. We - [meaning] Russia, the Foreign Ministry, <…>, the State Duma. We are in daily contact with our colleagues from both parties to the conflict," he continued.

The lawmaker again urged to undertake steps to convene the Middle East Quartet.

An exchange of missile strikes between Israel and Palestinian radicals from the Gaza Strip began on May 10 following an outbreak of violence near the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City in early May. Clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli police were triggered by an Israeli court ruling to seize dwelling houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from Arab families who have been living there for more than 50 years in favor of Jewish resettlers who had reportedly owned these buildings before 1948. According to the latest data, at least ten Israelis were killed, the Palestinian side reports almost 140 fatalities, including almost 40 children.