Russia Steps Up Efforts to Broker Peace Deal in Middle East, as Lebanon Officials Meets Russia’s Lavrov at UN

In a round of talks at the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with top diplomats from Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Lebanon, in what appears to be an effort to step into the peacemaking process in the Middle East.

The Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member, is meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Middle East. 

Russia was forced yesterday to withdraw a planned “presidential statement” that it wanted the Council to approve, after the Council’s 15 members were unable to agree on proposed language demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and text condemning Hamas for the Oct. 7 attacks, the Security Council Report said.

Russia has been left on the sidelines in Middle East talks, as Hamas deals with its patron, Qatar and Israel deals largely with its protector, the United States, and Egypt. But after meeting Lavrov in New York, acting Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told Russian TV that he hopes Russia will help conclude a deal with Israel to end the fighting in southern Lebanon between Israel and the Iranian-funded Hezbollah militia, which controls the southern portion of Lebanon.

“Hopefully, Russia will play an important role in [resolving] this conflict,” Habib said.

“A war is currently being waged, and armed clashes with the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon are taking place. But I know that, if there is any opportunity for peace, Russia will work toward establishing peace in any case.”

Lavrov reportedly told Habib that drawing Lebanon into the conflict in the Middle East was “inadmissible” Russia’s official TASS news agency reported, 

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it was focused on “collective efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and address urgent humanitarian problems.” 

With Iran’s foreign minister,  Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Lavrov also spoke about the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and discussed their “general concern” about tensions in the Red Sea, which” escalated abruptly as a result of the irresponsible use of force by the US and several associated countries against Yemen.” 

Despite its troubled relationship with Turkey, which has been aiding both sides in the Ukraine war, Russia said the countries agreed they need to work together on “acute regional problems,” including Gaza, Syria, the Black Sea, and the South Caucasus.

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