Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with a group of foreign ministers from Arab and Muslim countries and the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

On November 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting in Moscow with foreign ministers of Arab and Muslim countries — Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud from Saudi Arabia, Sameh Shoukri from Egypt, Retno Marsudi from Indonesia, Ayman Safadi from Jordan and Riyad al-Maliki from Palestine and Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha. They are members of the committee that was established in Riyadh on November 11 at the emergency joint summit of the Arab League and the OIC on the Gaza situation.

The meeting consisted of a detailed exchange of views and a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the zone of the Palestine-Israel conflict. This unprecedented escalation of violence has already claimed over 12,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli lives.

Having resolutely denounced all forms of terrorism, the participants emphasised that it is unacceptable to fight this evil by means of collective punishment or the indiscriminate use of force against civilian facilities in violation of the Geneva conventions.

The participants confirmed the similarities of the approaches of Russia and countries of the Arab-Muslim community to overcoming this crisis, and expressed their shared support for achieving a durable ceasefire as soon as possible, protecting civilians, respecting international humanitarian law, opening humanitarian corridors, continuing evacuations from the Gaza Strip and freeing hostages.

The participants also stressed the need to take vigorous coordinated measures to achieve lasting peace between Palestine and Israel. They emphasised in this context the absence of any alternative to the comprehensive political solution of the Palestinian problem on the foundation of the relevant UN and Arab Peace Initiative decisions. They underlined the need to step up international efforts to create the conditions for progress in negotiations between the sides. These negotiations should result in the formation of an independent Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem, co-existing in peace and security with Israel.

The participants agreed to coordinate their actions for reaching a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East as soon as possible. With this end in view, they approved a schedule for future contacts between their foreign ministries, including in the UN and via Russia’s mechanisms of cooperation with the Arab League and the OIC.

By Andrei Balitskil