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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

US policy in Middle East ‘obviously failed’ – Putin

The Russian leader commented on Washington’s unilateral approach to the Israel-Palestine question

The US abandoned international instruments and proposed its own solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has now been exposed as a complete failure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

“The fact that this is a failure is now obvious,” Putin told the TV channel Al-Ghad, on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow.

Read more: Putin blames US for Middle East violence

The US “practically moved away from previous international instruments to resolve this problem,” which included Russia and several other countries, and “practically monopolized the settlement process,” Putin explained.

At some point in this process, the Palestinian Authority “had to make a number of quite serious statements and make it clear that it was not ready to agree to the ‘principles’ [the US] proposed,” the Russian president added. “This was primarily due to Israel’s policy on settlements.”

Moscow’s position on the issue has “always been clear, understandable, and transparent,” Putin said, with Russia telling both the Palestinians and Israelis that it was “necessary to implement the previously adopted decisions of the UN Security Council to create an independent, sovereign Palestinian state – as was originally envisaged during the creation of the Israel.” 

Read more: Middle East Diplomacy and Power Play

The issue is a “complex and very sensitive” one, and everyone needs to refrain from inflammatory statements and minimize casualties among civilians, the Russian president added. Another priority is to prevent the conflict from expanding, Putin said, as this would have implications globally and not just in the region.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani asked Russia to help mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moscow can and will continue to play a role in negotiations, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview on Wednesday.

The latest surge of violence began on Saturday, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched rockets and raids into Israel from Gaza. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) responded by bombing Gaza and cutting off all of its utilities, while the Israeli government made an official declaration of war.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Israel had recorded at least 1,200 dead and 2,900 injured among its citizens, while the Palestinian authorities in Gaza have counted at least 1,055 dead and over 5,000 wounded.