24 Sep 2018 12:36

Lavrov explains why Russia denied support to Obama's Palestinian-Israeli settlement initiative in 2016

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) - Russia did not support the Palestinian-Israeli settlement initiative of U.S. President Barack Obama's administration because it believed the initiative would aggravate the situation, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"In the end of 2016, when the outgoing Obama administration started promoting Palestinian-Israeli settlement options at the UN Security Council or actually pushed for 'artificial parameters' and a pre-determined outcome of the talks, Russia refused to back the U.S.' initiative, as it believed that would unavoidably aggravate the situation on the ground without actually being productive," Lavrov said before he left for the session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The Palestinian-Israeli peace process will be one of the items on the agenda.

"It was counterproductive. We explained the stance of Russia, which was elaborated with due account of Benjamin Netanyahu's request, in the long telephone conversation we had with the U.S. secretary of state in the end of December," Lavrov said.

"We said we did not want the outgoing administration to slam the door and create problems for future efforts on that track," he said.