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Invitation to hold Palestine-Israel talks in Moscow remains in force — Lavrov

The top diplomat urges the Mideast Quartet, the Arab League to join efforts

ABU DHABI, February 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to hold direct talks in Moscow between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders on resolving the conflict remains in force, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday speaking at the fourth session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum.

"Everything must be done to start a direct dialogue between the leaders of Palestine and Israel," he said. "As you know, President Putin suggested holding a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow to launch a direct conversation on how to unblock the peace process. This invitation remains in force. We are grateful for the fact that the parties have essentially accepted it."

Russia’s top diplomat pointed to the need to break the impasse at the Palestinian-Israeli talks. "We are confident that the Palestinian people’s problems should be solved on the basis of resolutions by UN Security Council and General Assembly, including the issue of Jerusalem," Lavrov emphasized.

The Mideast Quartet of international mediators in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations) should intensify its work and organize close interaction with the LAS, he went on.

"We consider it necessary to step up the work of the Mideast Quartet," Lavrov said.

"Moreover, it is not the first year that we have been seeking that the Quartet should work in close coordination with the LAS rather than in isolation," the foreign minister said.

"It is the LAS that has initiated the Arab peace initiative, which creates a solid basis for solving all principled issues of settling both the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict," Lavrov said.

"That is why, we are convinced that the LAS should be represented in a full-fledged manner in all these efforts," Lavrov said.