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The day of October 30 went down in history as an important milestone in the development of the Middle East. 30 years ago – October 30, 1991 – a peace conference on Arab-Israeli settlement began in Madrid. The convening of such a forum under the Soviet-American co-sponsorship was made possible by vigorous multilateral cooperation. We acknowledge the special contribution of Spain as host country of the Madrid Conference.

Then, for the first time, all the players involved, including high-level representatives of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians, gathered at the negotiating table as part of a joint delegation, as well as the UN as an observer. This event made it possible to build a peace process for a comprehensive Middle East settlement on the basis of a direct political dialogue between Israel and the Arab countries and Palestinians, as well as multilateral negotiations on fundamental problems of security, refugees, the economy and the distribution of water resources.

In pursuance of the decisions of Madrid, the countries of the Middle East and international actors made a significant contribution to regional stabilization, and the contours of a sustainable comprehensive peace process were outlined. To our deep regret, for a number of reasons the potential accumulated at the Madrid conference was not fully used, and in a number of areas it was wasted.

As a result, while the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories continues in the conflict zone, there are regular relapses of military confrontation. Western bank of the river. Jordan and the Gaza Strip are overwhelmed by acute socio-economic and humanitarian problems, which are seriously exacerbated by the lack of inter-Palestinian unity. Palestinian and Israeli civilians are suffering from unilateral moves related to attempts to change the status of Jerusalem, including the Holy Places, settlement activities and calls for violence. It turned out that the prospects for the implementation of the postulate of “territory for peace” enshrined in the decisions of the UN Security Council, from which the principle of “two states” – Israel and Palestine, coexisting in peace and security, flows.

In the current conditions, Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators, calls on partners to turn to the cooperation experience gained in Madrid, which is based on a comprehensive approach to regional challenges and threats, and to intensify joint efforts in the interests of a sustainable Arab-Israeli settlement … History proves that it is impossible to untie the knots of conflict in the Middle East alone.

In order to solve this problem, Russian diplomacy comes up with an initiative to convene a Quartet at the ministerial level in cooperation with the League of Arab States. Our proposal to hold a Palestinian-Israeli summit meeting in Moscow also remains topical. We keep in touch with all parties. Israeli Prime Minister Nicholas Bennett recently paid a visit to Russia. We are planning negotiations with the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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