MOSCOW : Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed grave concern Tuesday over the deaths of thousands of people, the mass expulsion of civilians and the humanitarian catastrophe that has erupted in the Gaza Strip.
Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the BRICS group of major emerging economies via video link from Moscow, Putin said the escalation in the Middle East is a “direct consequence” of the US stance on “monopolizing mediation functions” between Israel and Palestine, part of which was blocking the work of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators consisting of the European Union, UN, US and Russia.
“Because of the sabotage of UN decisions that clearly provide for the creation and peaceful coexistence of two independent and sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, more than one generation of Palestinians has been brought up in an atmosphere of injustice shown to their people, and Israelis cannot fully guarantee the security of their state,” he noted.
Putin emphasized that all BRICS countries have a similar position of the necessity of collective efforts aimed at the achievement of lasting and sustainable peace, which was manifested during the vote at the UN General Assembly on the situation in Palestine and during discussions of the UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East.
“And although this resolution contains only a call for the establishment of humanitarian pauses and not a full-fledged cease-fire, we consider the very fact of its approval a step in the right direction,” he said.
The Russian president said that such humanitarian pauses are necessary to continue efforts to free hostages and evacuate civilians and foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip while “the most urgent task” on the agenda is to achieve a “truly long-term and sustainable cease-fire.”
Putin thanked Egypt and Saudi Arabia for their contributions to finding ways to alleviate the current crisis and proposed making the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation a constant topic on BRICS’ agenda. — AA