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‘Issues related to Palestinian settlement should not be side lined’: Putin

The issues regarding the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be “side lined,” the Russian president said on Friday.

“It is important that the issues related to the Palestinian settlement should not be relegated to the background, and they should not be sidelined, especially given the acuity, and given the importance of this problem not just to the Middle East, but to the whole world,” Vladimir Putin told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), where he met with the world’s leading news agencies via videoconference.

His remarks came as a response to a question by Yusuf Ozhan, Anadolu Agency’s deputy director-general and editor-in-chief, when he asked how or in what ways Russia could contribute to the diplomatic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Putin said Russia has very good and friendly relations with Israel and Palestine, and it is involved in these processes and it has been there for dozens of years.

Welcoming the normalization of relations in the region among various countries, in particular between Arab nations and Israel, Putin said: “Once intergovernmental ties re-established, it always benefits the people of these countries and these nations.”

In 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco announced controversial normalization agreements with Israel following moves decades ago by Egypt and Jordan, which signed deals with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

During a White House ceremony on Sept. 15 last year, the UAE and Bahrain signed the US-sponsored deal, officially known as the Abraham Accords, to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

A multilateral platform and multilateral cooperation are needed to discuss all the existing issues, he said, and stressed that there are some issues that require “a great deal of special attention from the international community.”

“Without a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is not possible to achieve durable peace in the region,” Putin said.

He also pointed out that it is important to overcome the intra-Palestinian differences.

Besides the issue of Israeli settlements, there are other issues that have massed and all of them require a “careful study,” the Russian president said.

He expressed hope for the current problems, including principle issues such as a two-state solution, that is the establishment of a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, to be resolved with due regard for the interests of both Israeli and Palestinian people.

“It’s very important not to be guided by current short-term interests. What we need to do is to have in mind a durable, long-term peace. But in this short conversation, we are having, especially given the fact that it’s remote, I don’t think I will be able to come up with a recipe to address this protracted problem. But Russia will continue together with other participants to make a contribution to finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he added.

An Egyptian-brokered truce that took effect in the early hours of May 21 ended Israel’s 11-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli attacks in Gaza and the West Bank killed at least 289 people, including women and children, and left behind a trail of destruction. Health centers and media offices, as well as schools, were among the structures targeted.

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