May 15, 2018 / 9:21 AM / 4 months ago

Kremlin urges countries to avoid action destabilising Middle East

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Tuesday urged countries to avoid action that might inflame tensions in the Middle East and expressed deep concern after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinian protesters.

Monday’s bloodshed on the Israeli-Gaza border took place as the United States opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, relocating it to the contested city from Tel Aviv in a move that has infuriated Palestinians.

“From the very beginning, Moscow expressed concern that actions by the United States could provoke tensions in the Middle East,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.”

The Kremlin is monitoring the situation on the Gaza border closely, Peskov added, saying the death of many dozens of Palestinians “can only elicit the deepest concern”.

“We continue to consider that all sides, all countries and especially the participants of the (Middle East) Quartet should avoid any action provoking such flashes of tension.”

Since 2002, the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators comprising the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations has been assigned to promote peace efforts. It has failed to secure any result.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova,; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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