Major Diplomatic Meetings Held in New York to Address Middle East Crisis

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MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov engaged in crucial diplomatic talks with counterparts from Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon in New York on Monday, ahead of the United Nations Security Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday. The focus of the bilateral meetings centered around addressing key issues in the Middle East, with discussions on the Gaza Strip, Syria, and the increasingly tense situation in the Red Sea.

The Russian foreign ministry reported via the Telegram messaging app that Lavrov and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian emphasized the urgency of a swift ceasefire in Gaza, along with outlining conditions for providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict. General concern was expressed over the deteriorating situation in the Red Sea, prompting discussions on potential solutions.

On the same day, the United States and Britain conducted additional strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in response to their actions targeting shipping in the Red Sea, as confirmed by the Pentagon.

Lavrov’s meeting with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib focused on the importance of collaborative efforts among regional countries to achieve an immediate ceasefire. The talks come in the wake of intensified Israeli bombardment in southern Gaza, drawing attention from Washington to ensure the protection of innocent civilians in hospitals, medical staff, and patients.

The upcoming United Nations Security Council meeting on Tuesday is slated to discuss “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” Lavrov, expressing his commitment to finding a resolution, stated on Thursday that he plans to propose “collective efforts” during the meeting to address the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

In discussions with Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan, Lavrov delved into energy issues and upcoming bilateral contacts. The meeting follows earlier indications from the Kremlin in December, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin may visit Turkey in early 2024, emphasizing the ongoing importance of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

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