Russia urges Israel’s government to freeze construction of settlements in the West Bank, which violates international law and hinders Palestinian-Israeli talks, Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told a UN Security Council session on Friday.
According to Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency the UN Security Council on Friday failed to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory. The United States delegation vetoed the draft.
The other 14 council members voted in favour of the draft resolution. But the United States, as one of the five permanent council members with the power to block any action by the Security Council, voted against it and struck it down.
“The Russian Federation voted in favour of the draft resolution, proceeding from its principled position: we accept no unilateral steps prejudging the outcome of the talks on the final status,” Churkin said.
“Unfortunately, today there were no unity among the Security Council members and the draft was not adopted.”
The problem of Israeli settlements “remains on the agenda and will become ever more pressing,” he said.
“As a UN Security Council member and one of the four Middle East mediators, Russia will continue to urge the sides to resume direct dialogue. It will actively cooperate with regional and international partners in efforts to find a fair and comprehensive peaceful settlement in the region in line with UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab peace initiative,” the Russian diplomat stressed.
He also expressed the hope that “the Russian initiative to send the Security Council’s first-ever large-scale mission to the Middle East will be an actual contribution to promoting the peace process.
The initiative was voiced by the Russian permanent representative on Feb 9, 2010.
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