Palestine seeks Moscow support on Mideast peace

Middle East Desk

RAMALLAH: Palestine said it will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to support the holding of an international conference for peace in the Middle East.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is “leading an unprecedented movement with world leaders,” in response to the new Israeli government’s intention to impose Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.
“A letter will be sent to President Putin for holding an international conference for peace, in addition to a letter to the (Middle East) Quartet and another to UN Security Council, in response to the call of the UN secretary-general,” Ishtaye told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“We want to reach a solution, therefore, the UN is now requested, more than ever, to provide a program to the world on how to resolve conflicts,” he added.
The Palestinians warned that the formation of a new unity government in Israel, which is based on the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, is a threat to the two-state solution principle.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an agreement with his major competitor Benny Gantz to form a unity government, where both will head the government for a period of 18 months. The Israeli radio said that the agreement includes a mutually accepted point to impose Israeli sovereignty on the territories “that are part of the historic lands of Israel,” as of July 1.
Right after the announcement of the deal on Monday night, the Palestinian prime minister said this Israeli government’s formation means the end of the two-state solution.
A coalition “based on a commitment to annex more occupied Palestinian territories is a threat to a rules-based world order,” said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.