RUSSIA READY TO PROMOTE DIRECT ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONTACTS

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MOSCOW – Russia is ready to promote direct contacts between Israel and the Palestinian leadership and working toward a high-level meeting of the Middle East Quartet mediating the Israel-Palestinian peace process, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after meeting with Palestinian counterpart Riad al-Maliki, “We emphasized our readiness to facilitate direct dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis in order to resolve all fundamental final-status issues.”

Lavrov said Russia considers it crucial to hold a ministerial-level meeting of the Quartet, which consists of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

Palestinian Foreign Minister al-Maliki said that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden “is again aware of its responsibility in the Quartet….We expect that this will create a new environment of trust.”

Al-Maliki said that during Donald Trump‘s presidency, “the American administration showed that it openly leaned toward Israel. Based on this experience, we understand that we cannot return to that situation.”