MOSCOW, Thursday, May 06, 2021 (WAFA) – Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riyad al-Malki Wednesday called on Russia to pressurize Israel to allow general elections in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Speaking in a joint press conference following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, al-Malki urged Russia to exert pressure on Israel to ensure the general elections are held throughout the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and cooperate with the International Quartet in this regard.
He explained that agreeing to hold the elections throughout the occupied territories, with the exception of Jerusalem, would be tantamount to the acceptance of former US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s unified and eternal capital.
He briefed Lavrov on the recent Israeli actions and violations, particularly the actions and policies aimed to alter the political and demographic character of Jerusalem, including the Israeli occupation authorities’ plan to enforce the imminent forcible eviction and dispossession of 40 Palestinians, including 10 children, from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
He also briefed him on the reasons for postponing the elections, noting that the elections would not be held without Jerusalem and that Israel has refused to allow Jerusalemite Palestinians to participate in the elections in violation of its obligations under the signed agreements.
He discussed with Lavrov issues of mutual concern, the means to strengthen cooperation and handed him a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to his Russain counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The top Palestinian diplomat thanked Russia and the Chechen Republic for supplying the Palestinian people with Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines and dispatching Russian medics and surgeons to Palestine, while expressing interest in continuing cooperation with Russia on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
Both diplomats agreed to convene the Intergovernmental Palestinian-Russian Trade and Economic Cooperation Commission by the end of 2021, if the public health conditions permit.
On his part, Lavrov expressed his “serious concerns about the escalation in East Jerusalem and around the Gaza Strip,” while stressing the need for “prompt de-escalation” as well as his country’s commitment to the United Nations decisions on the Palestinian question.
He reiterated his country’s support for President Mahmoud Abbas’ vision to hold an international conference on the Middle East peace process, while pointing that “it ]is[ fundamentally important … to hold a Quartet meeting at the ministerial level in order to reboot efforts to implement decisions on a two-state settlement.”