Iraq’s prime minister on Wednesday called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to help reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas militants.
“Mr. President, I appeal to you as a president of a permanent UN Security Council member to come forward with an initiative on a real ceasefire and search for a real solution to the Palestinian issue,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al-Sudani said at the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow.
Putin, who spoke alongside Al-Sudani at the form, just minutes before voiced uncertainty that the fighting, which has been ongoing since Saturday, would end “any time soon.”
The Russian leader also accused the West and Israel of seeking a “military solution” to the conflict, adding that Washington was “exacerbating the situation” by deploying one of its aircraft carriers near Israel.
The Kremlin said earlier Wednesday that Russia “maintains its position as a country that has the potential to participate in the resolution processes.”
Five days of fighting have already claimed thousands of Israeli and Palestinian lives after Hamas launched a surprise attack from Gaza, prompting retaliatory strikes by Israel which leveled entire neighborhoods.
Another 150 Israeli children, women, soldiers and foreign nationals are believed to be held by the Hamas militant group in the tiny coastal enclave.
The Iraqi Prime Minister’s office said Tuesday that Sudani urged Moscow and its UN Security Council counterparts to “promptly address and stop the ongoing attacks on Palestinian territories.”
Putin has called the creation of a Palestinian state "necessary" to resolve the decades-long conflict and argued that the new war demonstrated the "failure" of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.