Palestinian and Russian foreign ministers to meet

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov today in Moscow. After December’s Abraham Accords

Palestine

Photo: Palestinian Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov today in Moscow.

After December’s Abraham Accords saw several Arab states thaw decades of frozen diplomatic relations with Israel, Palestine has begun looking for allies elsewhere. Al-Maliki’s recent visit comes after tensions between Palestine and Israel rose last month amid Israeli authorities’ disruption of Ramadan celebrations at Al-Aqsa mosque and conflicts over voter eligibility in East Jerusalem.

Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas suspended what would have been the first legislative elections in 15 years. Abbas cited Israel’s failure to ensure that residents of East Jerusalem—which both Israel and Palestine consider to be under their sovereignty—would be able to vote in the legislative elections.

Moscow will likely support Palestine as existing Russian cooperation with Iran has frayed ties with Israel. In the short-term, Al-Maliki could seek Russian support to convince Israel to allow the vote, as the last time a PA election was permitted in East Jerusalem was in 2006 and only occurred as a result of US pressure. As the United States distances itself from involvement in the Middle East, Russia may attempt to assert itself in the region.

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