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Putin Addressed the Extraordinary BRICS Summit on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

President Putin with Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk during the extraordinary G20 Summit (via videoconference).

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the decision of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to convene an Extraordinary BRICS Summit on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, which was held on Nov. 21 by videoconference. “It has come at the right time,” Putin stated. The heads of state and government of nine of the eleven nations that are either currently in the BRICS (five) or have been invited to join on Jan. 1, 2024 (six), were in attendance, as was Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres. The heads of state of India and Argentina sent their foreign ministers to represent them.

That’s a lot of political firepower, and the leaders wielded it to try to bring about a prompt ceasefire and negotiated solution to the raging war in Gaza.

In his speech Putin stressed that the only lasting way to settle the crisis is an overall solution to the Palestinian issue with international supervision (e.g., the Middle East Quartet, consisting of the UN, the EU, the U.S. and Russia), based on decades of binding UN resolutions. Putin briefly described some of the horrors occurring in Gaza and then stated: “And all of that is, in fact, happening as a consequence of the United States’ aspiration to monopolize the mediation role in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement process and block the activities of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators. This is history’s way of demonstrating that attempts to single-handedly cut the `Palestinian knot’ are unviable and counterproductive.”

Putin continued: “Russia’s stance is consistent and independent of momentary conditions. We urge the international community to join efforts aimed at de-escalating the situation, negotiating a ceasefire and achieving a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The BRICS states and the countries in the region could play a key role in this work.”

He spoke about the Nov. 15 UN Security Council resolution: “Although this resolution contains merely an appeal for humanitarian pauses rather than a full ceasefire, we consider the very fact of its approval a step in the right direction.… I agree with my Brazilian colleague that it is important that other states not get drawn into a war in the Middle East and that the conflict not spread in any way, as is preserving the fragile peace between religions.”

Putin concluded by announcing that the BRICS, under Russia’s presidency in 2024, will continue discussing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as “other urgent global and regional issues.” In other words, the BRICS is going to be playing a major role on the world stage.

China’s President Xi Jinping underscored that same central point.

According to TASS, Xi called the BRICS cooperation mechanism “an important platform for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen unity and cooperation and safeguard common interests.… Russia will chair BRICS next year. China is willing to cooperate with other members to support Russia’s efforts and create a new era of BRICS cooperation,” Xi said.