Middle East

Russian FM condemns US decisions on Golan, Jerusalem

Jerusalem remains at heart of decades-long Middle East conflict

Laith Joneidi   | 07.04.2019
Russian FM condemns US decisions on Golan, Jerusalem Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

AMMAN, Jordan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday decried recent U.S. recognition of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights.  

"We condemn the illegitimate U.S. decisions regarding the Golan and Jerusalem," Lavrov said during a joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in capital Amman.  

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the Golan Heights as an Israeli territory, which Israel occupied in 1967.  

The move came after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in late 2017 and moved his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, triggering world outcry.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

"We have discussed the Middle Eastern political settlement and we are concerned about what has been happening in the Palestinian territory," Lavrov said.  

The top diplomat went on to affirm Moscow's support for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, adding that other "attempts will not lead to good results".  

Commenting on the so-called "deal of the century" – a U.S.-backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel –, Lavrov said: "We do not have any information about it but the speculations spark deep concern."  

The terms of Washington's peace plan remain vague. However, according to recent speculations, Palestinian refugees will be asked to concede their right to return to historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.  

For his part, Jordanian foreign minister said there is "a continued Russian-Jordanian dialogue regarding the Syrian crisis and we work within the framework of the international community to achieve a political solution."  

Asked whether Jordan discussed the "deal of the century" with U.S. officials, Safadi said: "As minister Lavrov said, we do not know its details and we do not know what would the U.S. say about it."  

"The only solution for the Palestinian-Israeli struggle is to end [the Israeli] occupation," Safadi said.  

Lavrov is slated to meet the Jordanian King Abdullah II during his visit.  

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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