United Nations: With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continuing to rage on, experts have indicated to the UN the need to involve India and China to bolster mediation efforts and end the dominance of the US in the Middle East. At a meeting titled ‘International efforts to achieve the two-State solution’ in Moscow on July 2, experts called for an expansion of the Middle East Quartet, implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative and greater awareness of it in Israel, and a Security Council resolution setting a timetable to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Leading Researcher of the Centre for Eurasian Studies at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow Galina Prozorova in particular made the point that in order to combat extremist groups, it was vital to step up collective mediation efforts and bolster the Quartet, which was inadequate to address today’s realties. The Quartet, comprising the US, European Union, UN and Russia, was established in 2002 to focus on mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prozorova said the Quartet had been sharply criticized for being ineffective so far. “Proposals had also been put forth to involve China and India stressing the need to end United States dominance in the Middle East,” she said, according to information provided by the UN on the meeting. She said that international negotiators must employ the entire “arsenal” of moral, political, economic and humanitarian negotiating tools, as well as a boycott of Israeli settlements to curb settlement activity, end Israel’s blockade, and advance the peace process. The meeting was convened by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to explore ways to foster the conditions needed for a successful political process and review international efforts to achieve the two-State solution. India had for the first time yesterday abstained from voting on a resolution on Palestine adopted at the UN rights body that calls for accountability by parties involved in last year’s conflict in Gaza.

The resolution on “ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” was adopted at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday with 41 votes in favour, five abstentions and one vote against the resolution. India, along with Ethiopia, Kenya, Macedonia and Paraguay, abstained from voting.

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