“We have confirmed our joint position in regard to the non-alternative in the fight against this universal evil on the basis of international law. We support the UN’s efforts in playing the key role and doing it without any double standards,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Moscow.
Tensions in the Middle East intensified last year with the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Islamic State jihadist group's expansion.
Operation Protective Edge, which Israel launched on July 7, resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 70 Israelis, according to the UN. On August 26, the Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed to an open-ended ceasefire. Clashes between the sides have continued despite the agreement.
The Islamic State (IS) militant group is active in the region, seizing vast areas in Syria in 2012 and expanding its operations to Iraq in 2014, declaring an Islamic caliphate on the territories it controlled. The extremists have become known for their brutal tactics, such as public crucifixions and beheadings of captured prisoners. The IS has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
“We are sure, and here we have a quite close view of the situation, that leading Arab countries should play a more active role in searching for a comprehensive settlement,” Lavrov said, referring to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
In December 2014, Lavrov said during his visit to Sudan that Arab League countries should join the Quartet of Middle East mediators in order to contribute more to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Quartet, comprising Russia, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, was established in 2002. The body has been criticized for the lack of significant progress made in improving relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Arab League includes most countries of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.