Russia backs PA proposal for international peace conference

Russian Foreign Minister proposes Middle East peace conference to be held in the spring or in the summer.

Elad Benari ,

Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday backed a Palestinian Authority proposal for a Middle East peace conference.

"We propose holding an international, ministerial-level meeting in spring-summer 2021," Lavrov told a videoconference UN Security Council meeting about the Middle East, according to AFP.

Participants in such a conference would include Israel, Palestinian Arabs, the four members of the so-called Middle East diplomatic quartet (Russia, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union), along with four Arab states -- Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, Lavrov said.

"It would also be important to invite Saudi Arabia, which is behind the Arab peace initiative," he added.

"This meeting could provide a platform for carrying out a complete analysis of the situation, and helping countries to launch a dialogue," Lavrov told the Security Council.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly pushed for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, aimed at bypassing the US efforts to resume talks.

In September, the PA said it began preliminary diplomatic steps to hold an international conference.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has in the past expressed a desire to host an Israeli-Palestinian Arab summit to revive the stalled peace talks between the sides, but nothing has materialized yet in this regard.

The Israel-PA peace process has been frozen since 2014, when Abbas breached conditions of talks that were ongoing at the time by unilaterally joining international treaties and conventions.