Tillerson Hints at Deal to Resolve Arab-Israeli Conflict in One Fell Swoop, Moscow Waits in Wings


8 Dec, 2017 (RT)* – The US secretary of state has a plan to resolve the decades-old conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors in a single ‘deal of the century,’ his Russian counterpart said, adding that Moscow is eager to see the details of the promised peace plan.

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**Photo: Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem | Author: Trey Hoagland Donatus | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

“Rex [Tillerson]… hinted to me that the United States is expecting to strike a ‘deal of the century,’ which would resolve the Palestinian-Israeli problem in one swoop,” Sergey Lavrov said. “We certainly want to understand how they see this happening.”

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Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the U.S. intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, near the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, December 6, 2017 Osman Orsal

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The comments by the Russian foreign minister followed a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reigniting hostility between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel occupied the eastern part of the city, which is considered holy by all three major religions in the region, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, along with large parts of Palestinian territories. The occupation was not recognized as legitimate by any other nation and, similarly, no nation has acknowledged Israel’s declaration of Jerusalem as its capital – until now.

Lavrov joined an international chorus of criticism over the move by the Trump administration. “The fact is that the statement [of recognition] goes against all the previous agreements,” he said, adding that it divided global communities into two “very, very unequal parts.”

Israel is the only nation openly endorsing the move, but some US allies like Canada have refrained from criticizing it too loudly.

Lavrov, who was speaking to journalists in Vienna, said the Trump administration has shot itself in the foot with the decision, undermining their own Middle East strategy.

“They previously said, lets normalize the relations between Washington and the Arab world, and once it is done, the Palestinian issue can be resolved,” he said. “By taking the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem the Trump administration have undermined their effort to normalize the relations with the Arabs.”

*SOURCE: This report was published in RT. Go to Original

**Photo: Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem | Author: Trey Hoagland Donatus | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

2017 Human Wrongs Watch

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