DAKAR, SENEGAL: The US plan “peace plan” for the Middle East suggests unilateral concessions in favour of Israel and violates international law, according to Russia’s foreign minister.
Such an approach does not help efforts for a just solution to the issue, Sergey Lavrov told Italian daily La Stampa in an interview published on Monday.
"The US, in its usual style, suggested solving one of the most long-standing conflicts of our time in one fell swoop. In addition, Washington inherently ignored the generally recognised international legal framework for the Middle East settlement, which includes UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative,” he said.
“The American draft suggests solving all the key problems of the ‘final status’ of the Palestinian territories – borders, settlements, East Jerusalem, and refugees – by making unilateral concessions in favor of Israel. It is unlikely this approach will help improve the situation. This is also indicated by the fact that the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ has been categorically rejected by Palestinians."
Lavrov said a just two-state solution requires "genuine" efforts from both sides of the conflict, while the international community has to provide impartial support for any Palestinian-Israeli dialogue.
He suggested that the Middle East Quartet – the US, UN, EU, and Russia – could act as a mediator.
"In this context, we support the position … of Arab League member states on the need for multilateral negotiations on the Middle East settlement under international auspices.
“We believe this role can be assumed by the quartet of international mediators, which is the only mechanism authorized by the UN Security Council to support the Middle East peace process," said Lavrov.
Russia, as a member of the quartet, is ready to help reach a lasting solution, he added.
On January 28, President Donald Trump unveiled the so-called “Deal of the Century” to end one of the longest-running disputes in the Middle East.
In the plan, Trump proposes a patchwork Palestinian state, boxed in by illegal Israeli settlements, as well as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital."
Israel blocks Palestinian agricultural exports, escalating trade spat
The so-called peace plan unilaterally annuls previous UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue and suggests giving Israel almost everything it demanded.
Turkey has slammed it as an effort to "justify Israeli occupation and annexation of Jerusalem and the West Bank."
Libya after Berlin summit
Lavrov also said some “positive developments” were seen in Libya after last month’s summit on the issue in Berlin.
"There are positive developments. The Joint Military Committee 5+5 has started its work, and practical preparations have commenced to launch the mechanism of the forum for political dialogue. Inter-Libyan consultations on economic issues are also being initiated,” he said.
“These gains must be consolidated and progress must be made simultaneously on all tracks of settlement."
Last month, Germany hosted a summit seeking international unity on efforts for a political solution and cease-fire in the north African country.
It was attended by representatives of the US, Turkey, Russia, the UK, UN, Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of the Congo, United Arab Emirates, the African Union, the European Union, and the League of Arab States.
The conference ended with pledges to support a cease-fire and arms embargo, and heads of states and governments agreed to set up a follow-up committee to discuss the implementation of the conclusions.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: warlord Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.
Libya's legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.