Russian transcript of foreign minister’s address to inter-Palestinian meeting

Text of "Opening remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the conversation with the participants of the inter-Palestinian meeting, Moscow, 23 May 2011" published in English by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 24 May

I welcome the participants of this meeting, which is organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. You represent all the organizations that in early May in Cairo signed the document on the restoration of Palestinian unity. Russia has always supported movement in this direction, actively contributed to the mediation efforts of Egypt, whose role in the achievement of the relevant results we note especially.

I am convinced that the agreement reached by all the Palestinian groups has historic significance.

First, any nation inherently needs unity.

Secondly, it is all the more necessary for the Palestinian people, who seek a just solution to the task of creating their own state as per UN and Quartet decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Thirdly, to achieve this goal through the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict it is essential that the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority in the negotiations should rely on the support of their position by all Palestinians. The Cairo decisions have paved the way for this.

Fourthly, the restoration of Palestinian unity will help facilitate universalizing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and strengthening the unity of the Arab world and will breathe new life into the Arab Peace Initiative.

The most important thing right now is to consistently implement the Cairo agreement in practice. We welcome the consensus reached on holding municipal elections in both the West Bank and Gaza in October. This will constitute an important step in forging democratic and effective governance in daily life across the Palestinian territories.

The next step, according to your arrangements, must be to form a transitional government of technocrats whose main task will be preparation for general elections.

Russia as a permanent UN Security Council member and an active Quartet participant is interested in seeing all Palestinian forces join the election campaign on the solid basis of the principles set forth in the PLO political platform and the Arab Peace Initiative. This will allow the general election results that will maximally correspond to the task of creating a Palestinian state living in peace and security with all its neighbours.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Moscow, in English 24 May 11


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