Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with the delegation of the OIC Ministerial Contact Group on Palestine and East Jerusalem
On February 25-26 in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with the delegation of the Ministerial Contact Group of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine and East Jerusalem, headed by the Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry. The delegation also included the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Guinea, François Lonseny Fall, the Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, Riyad al-Maliki, the OIC Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani, and Agshin Mehdiyev, Ambassador-at-Large of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan.
OIC delegation members made a detailed report on the current situation in East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was noted that the continuing illegal construction of settlements is one of the major destructive factors. The parties expressed concern over Israel withholding taxes and customs duties due to the Palestinians as well as other unlawful acts.
Sergey Lavrov confirmed Russia's principal stance in support of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to create an independent, viable state with territorial integrity and a capital in East Jerusalem that could co-exist in peace and security with all its neighbours. Achieving this goal is possible through the resumption of a substantive negotiating process between the Palestinians and Israel that can settle the key issues of the final status of all Palestinian territories. At the same time, peace and respect for the rights of all faiths must be ensured in Jerusalem, a city sacred to followers of three monotheistic religions.
The meeting participants specifically stressed the importance of promoting the activity of the Middle Eastern Quartet of international mediators that is a generally recognised mechanism for supporting the Palestinian-Israeli resolution, as well as closer cooperation with the leading states in the region and with the Arab League and the OIC.
Considering the Russian Federation's status as an observer state with the OIC, the parties also discussed a number of practical cooperation issues of mutual interest for Russia and this highly respected international pan-Islamic organisation.