| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Russia’s Putin speaks to Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria and Egypt

In an effort to broker a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to five of the key actors, including Iran and the most powerful Arab nations, on Monday.

Russia has often claimed that the United States and the West have disregarded the need for an independent Palestinian state within the boundaries of 1967. Russia has contacts with Iran, Hamas, key Arab nations, the Palestinians, and Israel.

Putin spoke to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by telephone, the Kremlin said. He also plans to speak to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Putin that the situation was escalatory, that Israeli army actions were “indiscriminate” and that the risk was that Israel would begin a ground operation against Gaza.

“The threat is high that this whole conflict gets out of control,” Ryabkov told Putin at a meeting also attended by Russia’s spy chiefs and military leaders.

He said that the United States was ultimately responsible for the crisis due to its failed policy in the Middle East and that Washington was blocking a Russian resolution in the UN Security Council.

Putin, who says the West is seeking to cleave Russia apart by supporting Ukraine, says the current violence in the Middle East shows just how far U.S. policy in the region has failed.

Putin will meet Xi Jinping in China this week in a bid to deepen a partnership forged between the United States’ two biggest strategic competitors.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have said that the fundamental issue at the heart of the conflict is the lack of justice for the Palestinians.

  • Reuters