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some ‘External forces’ seeking to turn Gaza war into regional conflict : Russia

Russia says some “external forces” are trying to exploit the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip to ignite hostilities in West Asia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sounded the alert at the 6th session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Wednesday, warning that the purpose of such actions is to “weaken countries that pursue an independent foreign policy course.”

“It has become obvious that some external forces are not averse to using the next escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in their own interests – to ignite the fire of regional hostility in the development of numerous past adventures of the US and its allies, which have been unleashed in West Asia over the past 20 years and the result of which is undermined statehood, hundreds of thousands of fatalities, huge flows of refugees, and sharp escalation of socio-economic problems,” the top Russian diplomat said.

Since the start of the US-backed offensive, the Israeli regime has martyred more than 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,586 others. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.

“The number of dead and injured is in the tens of thousands, most of them civilians in the Gaza Strip, primarily children and women. The suffering of the enclave’s population is compounded by the consequences of the Israeli blockade,” Lavrov added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he stressed that Moscow is continuing to make efforts to bring the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into a diplomatic channel in coordination with its Arab counterparts.

“Russia’s principled position coincides with the line of the Arab countries, which reaffirmed their commitment to resolving the crisis based on a generally recognized international legal framework during the summit of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Riyadh on November 11,” Lavrov said.

The top Russian diplomat stressed that Moscow believed that violence in the region would continue until the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with al-Quds as its capital.

The Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum, founded in 2009 to boost economic cooperation between Russia and the League of Arab States, is a regional meeting held at foreign minister level, whose current edition is hosted by Morocco.