Sunday, January 17, 2021

India, Russia Discuss Syria, Libya And Middle-East Peace Plan

Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met the Indian Ambassador in Moscow, Bala Venkatesh Varma. This was reported by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the meeting was initiated by the ambassador. During the meeting, Varma and Bogdanov discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Particular attention was paid to the situation in Syria, Libya and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

“During the conversation, the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa was discussed with a focus on the problems of resolving crises in Syria and Libya, as well as the prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On January 28, US President Donald Trump, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, presented his American plan for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East and creation of a Palestinian state. The Trump Plan is a 180-page document called Peace for Prosperity.

According to the highly criticized plan, parts of the West Bank with Jewish populations and established Jewish settlements from the entire Jordan Valley are also included in Israel. And the rest of the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip, will be transferred under the control of the Palestinians, for whom something “smaller than the state” should be created.

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The Kremlin noted that the so-called “deal of the century” is contrary to the UN Security Council resolution. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov doubted the viability of the plan of the American president, drawing attention to the fact that the Palestinians themselves have already expressed their disagreement with the Trump plan.

India had said that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue has to be “acceptable to both” sides, even as it urged both to actively engage with the US’s proposals. In its official response, India urged that the final status should be “resolved through direct negotiations between the two Parties and be acceptable to both”.

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However, India urged that both sides should also consider the US proposal as part of various other solutions that would necessitate “direct negotiations”. “We urge the Parties to engage with each other, including on the recent proposals put forward by the United States, and find an acceptable two-state solution for peaceful coexistence. We will continue to follow developments in the region and engage with the Parties concerned,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

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