Brazil has highlighted Iran’s role in the region, reiterating that Tehran must be part of a solution to any conflict in the Middle East.
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva said in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz that “new ideas” from all key players in the Middle East are needed to resolve issues in the sensitive region including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“The time has come to bring into the arena players who will be able to put forward new ideas. Those players must have access to all levels of the conflict: in Israel, Palestine, Iran, Syria, Jordan and in many other countries that are associated with this conflict.”
“After all, the Middle East conflict is not bilateral and does not pertain only to Israel and Palestine. There are other interests in the Middle East, interests which must be represented so we can find a solution. Iran is part of all this, and therefore someone must talk to them,” he added.
Lula’s remarks come as Israel is under pressure to stop settlement activities, which are considered the key obstacle to a long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Israel on Friday, saying that its plan to erect new housing units in East Jerusalem Al-Quds has undermined trust and confidence in the so-called peace process.
Israel’s settlement activities are in direct violation of international law.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, the Brazilian president, who is scheduled to travel to Iran in May, said he did not favor further sanctions against Tehran.
“Before sanctions of any kind are imposed, we must make every effort to rebuild peace in the Middle East.”
Brazil has repeatedly warned that fresh sanctions against Iran would be counterproductive reiterating that diplomacy can still work on the issue.