Photo: Niv Calderon
Lavrov meeting Livni (Archive photo)
Photo: Niv Calderon

Lavrov says Hamas-Fatah rift problem for Israel

Russian foreign minister warns Israel faces tough challenges if Palestinians remain divided

Israel faces tough challenges if the Palestinian Authority remains divided between Hamas in Gaza and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction in the West Bank, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Tuesday.


“We do not want Palestine to be torn apart by a civil war,” he said. “United Palestine is needed by Palestinians. Otherwise, it would be impossible to resolve problems,” Lavrov said after talks with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.


He said that Russia was opposed to a "divide and conquer" policy which would isolate Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in the West Bank.


Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip two weeks ago prompting Abbas to dismiss a unity government led by the Islamic group. Abbas appointed an emergency government in Ramallah that earned the support of Israel and the United States.


Turning his attention to Syria, Lavrov denied accusations that recent Russian arms sales to Damascus would upset the balance of power in the Middle East.


"Whatever we do in the sphere of military technological cooperation, our activities always conform to Russia's international commitments and the export control rules - some of the strictest in the world," Lavrov told reporters.


פרסום ראשון: 06.26.07, 23:57
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