The United States has done most of the recent talking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but now Russia and the EU appear to be calling for the UN Security Council to play a much bigger role, and make a return visit to the region.
“The fact is there has been no mission of the Security Council to the Middle East since 1979 and we think this is not right, that for so many years the Security Council members, as a body, have not been to the middle east,” said Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitay Cherkin.
Israel has not been especially welcoming to such visits in the past, and privately several diplomats feel the US may think such an initiative is counter-productive. But the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton agrees time is running out.
“We are witnessing major change in the Middle East. The contours of what will eventually emerge are not clear yet – they cannot be. But we do know that urgent progress on the Middle east peace process is vital, now more than ever,” she said.
Now the Arab world is in uproar, might have added Ashton. Any visit would be to Israel and the West Bank, but would also likely include Hamas-run Gaza, which might be fiercely opposed by the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.