Putin tells Abbas he backs two-state solution
MOSCOW // Russia supports the resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestine, president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, as his US counterpart, Donald Trump, prepares to visit Israel.
Mr Putin said Russia “will continue to give its full support to the resumption of direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis”, following talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
“The peaceful coexistence of the two states – Palestine and Israel – is an indispensable condition to ensure genuine security and stability in this region,” Mr Putin said.
Mr Abbas, meanwhile, said Palestine “values Russia’s counterterrorism efforts, as well as its contribution to strengthening security and stability in the Middle East, including in Syria”, Russia’s Ria Novosti state news agency reported.
After Mr Putin’s meeting with Mr Abbas, Russia’s defence ministry said Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman had called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, on Thursday.
The two ministers discussed defence cooperation between Russia and Palestine as well as regional security issues, the ministry said.
Mr Abbas said on Thursday that he welcomed “president Trump’s desire to help find a solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, according to a transcript published by official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“I told him that we were completely ready to cooperate with him and undertake efforts to reach a historical peace plan to end the conflict between us and the Israelis,” Mr Abbas added.
The Palestinian leader met with the US president at the White House on May 3.
Mr Abbas said on Tuesday that Mr Trump was expected to visit the Palestinian territories “soon” and that he was ready to meet Israel’s prime minister as part of the US president’s peace efforts.
Mr Trump is expected in Israel later this month as part of his first foreign trip. Mr Abbas said on Tuesday, “we are looking forward to his visit soon to Bethlehem” in the occupied West Bank, with speculation the visit will occur on May 23.
* Agence France-Presse
Updated: May 12, 2017 04:00 AM