MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. The meeting of the Quartet of international mediators on the Middle Eastern settlement (Russia, the US, the UN and the EU) at the level of foreign ministers must be organized as soon as possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his joint press conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Wednesday.
"We have come to a joint opinion today, I believe, that the most pressing issue is the convocation of the ‘quartet’ of international mediators - Russia, the US, the UN and the EU. And we trust the Secretary General as the coordinator of the ‘quartet’ to organize such a meeting optimally promptly by working with the sides," he said. "We also discussed this meeting being called at the level of foreign ministers."
Lavrov reminded that Russia also promotes the idea of a dialogue between the Quartet and Israel, Palestine and Arab states that have diplomatic relations with Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia as the author of the Arab peace initiative.
"But at this stage, probably, the convocation of the ‘quartet’ is the most pressing issue. It would be easier to do than to gather wider configurations," Lavrov noted.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian militias in the Gaza strip have been exchanging missile strikes since Monday, which followed the riots at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Eastern Jerusalem, where over 700 Palestinians were injured.
Earlier, the Hamas movement’s armed wing claimed the launch of over 200 rockets towards Tel Aviv and Beersheba. Before that, cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod were also targeted by massive strikes. Five killed Israelis were reported.
According to the latest Gaza Health Ministry reports, 56 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes, including 14 minors and three women. Over 300 people were injured, including 90 children.