Russia Says Ready to Promote Direct Israeli-Palestinian Contacts

MOSCOW (AP) -
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R.) and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki shake hands as they leave a joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Russia is ready to promote direct contacts between Israel and the Palestinian leadership and work 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.”