Russia ready to talk with Turkey over Gaza 'de-escalation', FM Lavrov says

Russia ready to talk with Turkey over Gaza 'de-escalation', FM Lavrov says
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country would cooperate with Turkey to seek an end to the war in Gaza.
3 min read
20 October, 2023
Lavrov (centre) said Russia and Turkey are in talks over the Gaza conflict [Getty]

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country is ready to cooperate with Turkey in de-escalating and resolving the Gaza-Israel conflict amid Israel's ongoing attacks in Gaza.

Israel has launched indiscriminate airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip after Hamas carried out a surprise attack on towns in southern Israel, killing an estimated 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians.

Israel's strikes have killed 4,137 Palestinians, including at least 1,524 children, and injured over 13,000 with hospitals, churches, and mosques bombed.

At a press conference in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, Lavrov stated that Russia is "in constant contact" with Turkey.

"We are ready to discuss any constructive proposals. This initiative, which I heard about the other day, is clearly dictated by the desire to de-escalate and normalize the situation," Lavrov said.

"We advocate that any approaches should be based on a balance of interests of the parties, and not on imposing someone's interests at the expense of infringing on others. It seems to me that the Turkish initiative is dictated by the desire to ensure such a balance. We will be ready to cooperate in its consideration."

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Lavrov also addressed Israel's bombardment in Gaza, saying that the war could potentially escalate into a regional conflict.

He called out the US for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution which urged for a cease-fire, amid concerns that the conflict could intensify.

"We are witnessing attempts to 'blame' everything on Iran again. We consider these quite provocative. The Iranian leadership takes a responsible, balanced position and calls for preventing this conflict from spreading to the entire region, to neighbouring countries," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister said that a UN Security Council resolution calling a halt to hostilities and efforts to provide humanitarian aid could resolve the conflict. 

"What are the prospects? I assume that the consultation of interested countries will continue. Egypt is taking the initiative. We would all like to see de-escalation in the Gaza Strip," he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Wednesday that Turkey was ready to become a guarantor for Palestine and added that peace in the region will come with a "two-state solution".

"The countries that will be guarantors for the Palestinian side should be from the region. This includes Turkey.  Other countries should be guarantors for Israel," Fidan said.

"After reaching an agreement that both sides can agree on, the guarantor countries should assume responsibility. If Israel wants lasting peace in the region and security for itself, the Palestinians must have a state," the Turkish minister added.