Moscow slams US decision to ‘legalize’ Israeli settlements in West Bank, says it puts spanner in the works for peace process

Moscow slams US decision to ‘legalize’ Israeli settlements in West Bank, says it puts spanner in the works for peace process The US decision to recognize Israeli settlements in the West Bank as legal will aggravate the situation in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“We consider Washington’s decision as another step aimed at scrapping the international legal base of the Middle East settlement,” Moscow stated, adding the US move will only further undermine the “already tense situation in Palestinian-Israeli relations.”

Russia’s position remains unchanged, viewing Israeli settlement construction on the West Bank has no legal force and exists at odds with international law. It erodes the path to peaceful solution on a basis of the two-state concept, the ministry argued.

Russian diplomats urged all parties to refrain from steps that could provoke a new escalation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that Washington no longer views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as inconsistent with international law. It marked a reversal of America’s longstanding legal opinion labeling them illegal since 1978.

The move triggered a massive condemnation, with Palestinians saying that the measure “endorses law of the jungle.” UN for its part reiterated its point that the settlements are in breach of international law.

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