Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that he would like to see an Israeli government that would adopt "a responsible stance" regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called a two-state solution necessary to its resolution.
Speaking with Israeli and Palestinian leaders of the Geneva Initiative in Moscow, Lavrov said that the two-state solution is necessary because the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ticking time bomb, which will eventually explode," those attending the meeting told Haaretz.
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The Russian foreign minister told the Israeli representatives Yossi Beilin and Gadi Baltiansky and Palestinian representatives Samih Al-Abed and Nidal Foqaha'a that "the continuation of the conflict is the main justification of extreme elements to enlist young people and foment hatred."
Lavrov added that the "efforts to promote the peace process were not very impressive in the last couple of years."
The heads of the Geneva initiative stressed the urgency of "setting in motion a real political process," and called to use the new political reality in Israel to promote a plan that can be accepted by both parties. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also attended the meeting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah in January and attend a conference against anti-Semitism that will be held there and endorsed by President Reuven Rivlin. Putin will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Last week, Netanyahu met with Putin in Sochi, five days before Israel's repeat election. The meeting began after an almost three-hour delay. Netanyahu also met earlier with Russia's defense minister, Sergey Shoygu.
It came several days after the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned Netanyahu’s pledge to annex parts of the West Bank following Israel's election on September 17.
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