Russia’s mission in the United Nations has called for talks among the four international mediators known as the Middle East Quartet for urgent talks after Israel and Palestinian militants announced a truce Thursday.
Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky spoke at the UN General Assembly meeting on Israel-Gaza hours after Israeli announced that its security cabinet had accepted an Egyptian initiative for an “unconditional” ceasefire.
“We stand for the activation of the Middle East Quartet. We propose to hold an urgent ministerial meeting of the quartet to de-escalate the situation and create an atmosphere of trust,” Polyansky said, referring to the mediation group that includes Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union.
Polyansky, whose remarks were carried by the state-run TASS news agency, urged regional countries’ participation in the four-way talks “to take into account the interested parties’ views.”
Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza announced the ceasefire 11 days after their worst conflict in years claimed the lives of 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis, including children on both sides. The decision came after U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that he expects “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”
In addition to Quartet talks, Polyansky called on both Israeli and Palestinian authorities to “take responsibility and start a dialogue.”
“It is through direct negotiations that the parties must work out solutions to the fundamental final status issues, including the status of East Jerusalem,” the diplomat said.