The just completed trip of Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov to an array of Middle Eastern states has highlighted that Moscow keeps up to speed with the situation in the region. Apart from that, the visit of Foreign Minister has confirmed Russia’s determination to take the initiative to solve the key problems of the region becoming a full-fledged mediator in that part of the planet.
Moreover, Lavrov’s Middle Eastern tour is yet another step to promote Russian economic projects in the Persian Gulf countries, regulate crude prices, as well as fortify the positions of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile, the Arab-Israeli settlement was the keynote of Lavrov’s tour. Russian Minister reiterated that the initiative of holding a meeting between the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow remains in force. “We believe that it would be a very important step to reestablish credibility,” he said. On the other hand, Russia’s Foreign Minister warned his Middle Eastern colleagues about the danger of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ that US President Donald Trump is trying to force on the region.
As in other cases, US President addresses the Palestine-Israeli settlement plan as a deal above all things, and only then – as a plan of a peaceful solution of the problem.
The White House gets it right from the viewpoint of marketing and PR. The preparations for presentation of the oncoming plan are as scrupulous and massive as those for emergence of a new product in the marketplace, such as the iPhone’s new model, or a new blockbuster coming out. Odd bits of information, conflicting rumors and various speculations – everything triggers breathless hype, which is there, truth be told.
However, Russia does not respond to such tricks. For example, speaking about Washington’s much-ballyhooed ‘deal of the century’, Russian Foreign Minister noted during his Middle Eastern tour that Moscow is deeply concerned about the incoming information about the nature of that deal.
According to Lavrov, Moscow suggests that the solution of the issue should rely on nothing but “a two-state basis (which implies the creation of a state of Palestine along with Israel as decided by UN – editorial comment), since other unilateral actions will lead into trouble.” On top of that, they have no grounds in international law.
“The illegitimate destabilizing nature of the United States’ decisions on Jerusalem, on the Golan Heights, same as the utter futility of the attempts assumed by American colleagues to invent in private a certain ‘deal of the century’, which is widely being discussed but has never been seen by anyone, seem very alarming to us, of course,” Lavrov emphasized at a press conference following the talks with his Jordanian colleague Ayman Safadi.
Washington reportedly intends to unveil its plan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict settlement after the parliamentary election in Israel. It should be pointed out that Donald Trump has gone out of his way to raise the rating of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Over the past year, the US President has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It seems that President Trump will ask Benjamin Netanyahu to support the American ‘deal of the century’ instead. And all indications are that Israeli Prime Minister is ready to do that.
The United States is also discussing the issue with Arab states. First of all, with Persian Gulf countries, which recently have stepped up contacts with Israel, as well as Egypt and Jordan. But no matter how attractive the promises held out by the US to allocate billions of investments in exchange for peace according to its plan are, there are red lines that Arab states have no intention to cross. The status of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is among them.
The announcement of the ‘deal of the century’ on the Palestine-Israeli settlement supervised by US President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in the not-too-distant future will most likely mark a certain start of the election campaign of Donald Trump himself for the voting in 2020.
It appears that today’s White House occupant plans to use the closing of that deal to garner the support of a powerful Jewish lobby in the US at the upcoming presidential voting, as well as the representatives of the Arab world eligible to vote at that election. No doubt President Trump has already started a big game to gain ballots making heavy use of the ‘deal of the century’ for those purposes as well.
Although judging by Sergey Lavrov’s statements made during his Middle Eastern tour, Russia is not going to join the game and intends to oppose Trump’s plan on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. Whereas considering the results of Lavrov’s Middle Eastern visit, a whole number of countries in the region are ready to side with Moscow.
With that in mind, it may be flatly concluded that Russia has no plans to participate in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.