The UN mission itinerary would include Israel, Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Syria, Cairo and Lebanon, including a meeting with UNIFIL forces.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/9/2011, 12:17 PM / Last Update: 2/9/2011, 12:35 PM
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations has proposed that Security Council members go on a mission to the Middle East. Topping the agenda would be Israeli-Arab negotiations and the turmoil in Egypt and elsewhere.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that Russia first floated the idea before Christmas and that it has been met with interest by Security Council members. He added that there have been "no point-blank rejections" of the idea.
Churkin told reporters that "The fact is that there has been no mission of the Security Council to the Middle East since 1979. We are making this proposal now because we are concerned about the situation in the Middle East," with talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at an impasse and because of the region's current "delicate situation." He explained that the mission would try to "stablilize" the situation in the region and also help "restart Palestinian-Israeli negotiations."
Churkin says details of the trip must be carefully prepared because of the events on the ground, and the "interested parties" must be consulted.