Abbas to Putin: Palestinian issue cannot be resolved without Russia’s real participation

President Putin and PA President Abbas participated via video link-up in the opening of a multifunctional cultural and sports centre in Bethlehem, May 12, 2017. (Photo: screenshot)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia Thursday, their meeting centered on the peace process.

Addressing the press after their meeting, Abbas stated that the “Palestinian issue” cannot be resolved without Russia’s assistance. Abbas stated, “It is not possible to resolve the Palestinian issue without Russia’s real participation. This is our aim and we always say this at all international platforms.”

Putin stated that Russia and the Palestinians “have remained warm and trust-based” of late adding that “for years, we have been trying to solve one of the key issues of the modern world, that is the Middle East issue, so we always have things to discuss.”

Putin stated that Russia supports direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and that peace would lead to stability in the region. The Russian president stated “I would like to stress that peaceful coexistence of two countries, Palestine and Israel, is an essential condition for ensuring genuine security and stability in this region… Russia will continue to give its full support to resuming direct dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has but one solution- a political, negotiated solution based on international law.”

Their meeting comes after days of media reports focusing on Abbas ahead of Trump’s visit to Israel, the latest reports claiming that Abbas welcomes the reports of Trump’s peace negotiation resumption efforts. Abbas stated earlier this week “I stressed to President Trump that under his auspices I am open to cooperating and to meeting with the Israeli prime minister in order to make peace. I pledged our full cooperation in the war on terror and extremism in our region and across the globe.”

Trump will visit Israel for two-days on May 22, his itinerary not yet shared with the public.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, May 12, 2017, and reposted with permission.