Lavrov: US peace plan should include Palestinian state based on 1967 borders

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The US-proposed “deal of the century” on the Middle East peace process is not enough to guarantee a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“The United States proposes or rather deliberately pushes forward new approaches to solving the problem. It has been promising to propose the so-called deal of the century for more than two years,” Lavrov was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Lavrov’s statement came amid a three-day intra-Palestinian meeting which began on Monday in Moscow aimed at unifying 12 different Palestinian movements and organizations.

According to Lavrov, the US proposal does not include the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“We, like most countries in the world, are fully committed to the criteria of resolving the Palestinian issue, which came through Security Council resolutions, the United Nations General Assembly and the Arab Peace Initiative,” Lavrov said.

The Russian diplomat said that Moscow views Palestinian unity is an absolute priority for any progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Palestinian leaders have said in the past that any initiative short of a sovereign Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 boundaries with the entire East Jerusalem as its capital would fail.

“The information we have enables us to assess this future deal of the century as something undermining everything that has been achieved so far,” Lavrov added.

Dubbed the ‘deal of the century, the plan is being spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and US envoy Jason Greenblatt.

The plan is meant to revive stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders, with the status of Jerusalem and the ongoing expansion of the illegal settlements in occupied territories of Palestine being the main obstacles to reaching a final deal.

For the Palestinians, the deal is being seen as a non-starter if their demand for East Jerusalem is not part of any negotiations.

“Rumors and leaks about the deal of the century, as well as ongoing attempts to find regional and international parties that would cooperate with this plan, are failed attempts that will reach a dead end,” Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency in Ramallah, said back in January.

Kushner will travel to at least five Arab countries in late February to brief diplomats on the economic portions of the deal. Joined by State Department envoy Brian Hook and Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz, they are not expected to brief the diplomats on the “political component” of the peace plan, which covers all core issues of the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.