Israel calls for peaceful, diplomatic solution to Ukraine crisis

Jerusalem releases first official statement on unrest ignited by Russian intervention in Crimea.

March 6, 2014 01:08

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (L) and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R),. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Foreign Ministry released on Wednesday Israel's first official statement on the crisis in Ukraine, calling for a peaceful solution to the situation.

"Israel is following with great concern the events in Ukraine, it is anxious for peace for all its citizens and hope that the situation will not deteriorate to a loss of human life. Israel expects the crisis in Ukraine will be handled through diplomatic means and will be resolved peacefully," the ministry said in a statement.

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The statement did not mention Russia, perhaps reflecting Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s efforts in recent years to strengthen relations between Russia and Israel.

Ukraine says Russia has occupied Crimea, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based, provoking an international outcry.

Western states are discussing a potential resolution to the crisis ignited by Russian intervention in Crimea under which Russia would pull its forces back to their bases on the Black Sea peninsula and allow in international monitors.

Liberman was scheduled to meet Thursday in Rome with his Russia counterpart Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Reuters and JTA contributed to this report.

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