Netanyahu says he’d consider mediating Ukraine-Russia peace if asked
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he’d consider acting as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia as the war between the two countries nears its one-year mark.
The prime minister underscored that he’s focused on issues closer to home, but said he had been asked about taking on the responsibility in the past and would consider it again if asked by the relevant parties.
“If I’m asked by both sides, and frankly, if I’m asked by the United States — because I think, you know, you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen … and you know, we have our own backyard to deal with,” Netanyahu said of the peacemaker role in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“It’s not that I don’t think this is of monumental importance, because I think the peace of the world is at stake — as I think the peace of the world is at stake with Iran getting nuclear weapons, it’ll destabilize the entire world. And so, you know, I’m really devoting my efforts to that and the other peace ideas that I have, economic ideas, but if asked by all relevant parties, I’ll certainly consider it,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said he was asked to mediate “early on in the breakout” of the Russia-Ukraine war, but declined to say who made that ask, and said he turned it down both because he didn’t “know if it was official” and wanted to defer to Israel’s sitting prime minister at the time.
“I’m not pushing myself in, you know, which is … I’ve been around long enough to know that there has to be a right time and the right circumstances. If they arise, we’ll certainly consider,” the prime minister said.
Israel offered early in the war to act as a contact point between Russia and the West and has drawn criticism for maintaining a more neutral position toward Moscow amid growing international isolation.
Russia now appears to be mounting a new offensive against eastern Ukraine, prompting Ukraine to push for additional Western weapons deliveries.
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