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Russian ambassador rebukes US, Israel for ignoring Palestinian problem

Vasily Nebenzya called for building up international efforts in a search of ways out of the Middle East impasse

UNITED NATIONS, October 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya leveled sharp criticism at Israel and the US on Friday for ignoring the Palestinian problem in the course of debates on Middle East peace settlement at the UN Security Council.

As he took the floor at the meeting, he warned that in the absence of a peace process on the political horizon in the region, a dangerously explosive potential was accumulating there and it could produce an explosion at any moment.

Israeli ambassador Danny Danon and US ambassador Nikki Haley bypassed the Palestinian issue in their speeches and concentrated on Iran’s activity instead, accusing it of destabilization in the region.

The Israeli diplomat tried on the role of an arbiter by reading out the charges with global support for terrorism, encroachments on human rights, instigation of anti-Semitism, and the aspirations to annihilate Israel that he ascribed to Teheran.

After listing these accusations, Danon passed a guilty verdict on Iran.

Nabenzya made a reminder to his Israeli and US counterparts that the theme of the meeting was the situation in the Middle East inclusive of the Palestinian issue.

"At any rate, this is written in the paper I have in front of me on the table but the speeches by heads of some delegations make me doubtful today," he said. "Could they have mixed up the item on the agenda when they spoke here? Do they think we’re discussing the implementation of the P5 + 1 comprehensive plan of action [on the Iranian nuclear program]?"

"We, too, are prepared to discuss these things and I think others also have questions to the delegations of certain countries regarding the way the fulfill provisions of the comprehensive plan," Nebenzya said.

"Russia is openly concerned by the fact the Israeli and US delegations didn’t even utter the word ‘Palestine’," he said. "This is alarming and saddening because we don’t see any progress whatsoever in the field of Israeli-Palestinian settlement and, more than that, we don’t here even references to it - something that doesn’t inspire optimism by any means," Nebenzya said.

Turbulent events in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the new threats and challenges "[…] shouldn’t overshadow the priority of solution of the Palestinian problem that has a fundamental character for long-term normalization in the region," he said.

Nebenzya called for building up international efforts in a search of ways out of the Middle East impasse and stressed the preeminent character of the resumption of direct talks between Palestine and Israel. In this light, he recalled Russia’s proposal to host a summit of Israeli and Palestinian state leaders.