Palestinian spokesman Nabil Sha'ath credited Moscow Wednesday with silencing a statement by the Mideast Quartet after its meeting earlier this week.
"Russia has fulfilled an important role in preventing the Quartet from publishing a statement calling on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in return for the ratification of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, and for the prevention of a UN appeal," Sha'ath said.
Members of the Mideast Quartet – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – met Monday evening in Washington on the stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Israeli officials said Tuesday that the Mideast Quartet refrained from releasing a statement of its conclusions after Monday's meeting due to Palestinian objections.
Sha'ath explained during an interview with the Maan news agency that the Palestinians would oppose talks "while the settlements eat up our land".
He said a Quartet statement would have constituted a precedent for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and placed obstacles in the Palestinian appeal to the UN for independence.
He praised Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for his support of the Palestinians and called on the Quartet to adopt the same stance.