|Lavrov urges Israel to attend Moscow peace conference|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 21 March 2008 10:22|
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today, on the final leg of his diplomatic tour of the Middle East. Earlier in the week, the Russian Foreign Minister had met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Israeli President Shimon Peres, to discuss the proposal of holding a meeting in Moscow to follow up the one held in Annapolis last year. During his visit to Syria, Lavrov brought up the issue of the Golan Heights, and proposed that both nations should conduct talks on the territory in parallel to negotiations being held by Israel and the Palestinians. But the Israeli President poured cold water on the idea of Israel negotiating with Syria, saying that they wouldn't regard Syria's peace overtures so long as Damascus continued to arm Hizbullah and Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also downplayed the idea of a Russian peace conference, saying it was not necessary at this point in time, and that Israel needed to concentrate on the Palestinian track. But President Abbas has been very supportive of the idea of a Russian conference, and urged Lavrov to raise the issue with all the relevant parties.
Quote: "The international peace conference to be convened in Russia this year will attempt to restart peace talks between Israel and Damascus on the future of the Golan Heights, Lavrov said earlier Thursday during his visit to Damascus. No invitations have been sent at this time, but Russia is looking into how to combine various ideas, Lavrov said during his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. He also made it clear that the Russia conference will constitute the direct continuation of the Annapolis conference, and noted that all Annapolis participants agreed to attend the Moscow meeting as well. Lavrov called for a "global solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict and said talks should be restarted with Israel on the Syrian and Lebanese peace tracks. His visit comes as relations are strengthened between Russia and Syria after Moscow started delivery of air defense weapons to Damascus amid speculation some of them could be secretly forwarded to Israel's arch-foe Iran.
It's interesting that Russia should be so taken up with resolving the issue of the Golan Heights with Israel and Syria. The Golan Heights are of course on the northern border of Israel. The Bible prophesies that during a time of relative peace, a confederation of Arab nations will mount a massive invasion of Israel. And many believe that according to the prophecy of Ezekiel, it could be Russia that will come up out of the "north parts" to act as a guard to these invading armies (Ezekiel 38:15). The descendents of Meshech, Tubal and Magog (Genesis 10:20), mentioned in Ezekiel as being the people of this end time aggressor, all settled around the Caspian Sea and Black Sea areas. Some of the states bordering these seas include present day Turkey, Russia and Iran. The Iranian government has already declared its desire to wipe the state of Israel off the map, while Russia is seeking to rebuild its naval presence in the Mediterranean region. Peace in the Middle East may be one of the hooks that will bring Gog down upon Israel, but it will be the thought of taking spoil that will cause him to move against the Jewish people (Ezekiel 38:10-12). With Russia laying claim to the Arctic Circle in hopes of exploiting its vast mineral wealth, and Europe preparing for conflict with Russia over energy, its clear that something has to give way sooner or later. And it seems that the Middle East will be the ideal staging ground for this conflict. Some have also speculated that the prophecy of the destruction of Damascus could be fulfilled at this same time. Isaiah 17 states that the destruction of the city is the reward of those that spoil Israel (Isaiah 17:14). Syria has signed a mutual defence pact with Iran, and in the event that Israel launches a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the city of Damascus - the main sponsor of terrorism in the region - may also find itself high on Israel's target list. As we have seen in southern Israel, with the daily bombardment of Sderot, it would be unthinkable for a nation such as Iran to get its hands on nuclear weapons. Palestinian or Hizbullah terrorists would have no qualms about using them, even if they slaughtered much of their own people in the process.
This is the situation that now presents itself to Israel and the world. The Scriptures have foretold what must come to pass. The question is not if, but when these events will take place. The Lord said that as it was in the days of Lot, so it would be also in the days of the coming of the Son of Man (Luke 17:28-30). Lot's future was secure, but the city in which he lived was wiped off face of the map. The angels warned Lot, "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.", Genesis 19:17. Likewise, we would warn those who haven't yet trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, escape to yonder mountain, to mount Calvary upon which the Saviour died. There is eternal security in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.