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    Russia Has 'Serious Influence' as Mediator in Israel-Palestine Conflict

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    Moscow can help to resolve the Palestine issue in several ways, the diplomat says.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Palestine hopes Russia will play a significant role in restoring the unity of the country as well as in settling its conflict with Israel, Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Sputnik in an interview.

    "We are sure that Russia really wants to play a positive role in the restoration of Palestinian unity," Nofal said.

    Moscow can help to resolve the Palestine issue in several ways, the ambassador added, pointing out Russia’s role in the Iranian nuclear talks, the enhancement of Russia-Saudi relations and Moscow’s participation in the Syrian peace process.

    "On the one hand, all these things point to strengthening the role of ‘new’ Russia in the Middle East. On the other hand, Russia has serious influence concerning the Palestine-Israel issue," Nofal said. 

    "We intend to review the bilateral Russian-Palestinian relations in the area of economics," Nofal said, adding that trade turnover between the two countries should be raised to several hundred million dollars. 

    Current turnover is estimated at several million dollars, according to the ambassador

    The ambassador expressed hope that Russia would play a significant role in the restoration of Palestine.

    "Russia may participate in projects, connected with construction of ports or airports as well as with a number of heavy industry fields, such as electrical industry and energy," Nofal said.    

    Earlier in the month, the Russian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed Russian support for the restoration of national unity in Palestine. 

    Russia is one of the permanent UN Security Council nations that voted for Palestinian statehood in a 2014 resolution. The resolution failed to pass due to a United States veto. 

    Palestine is recognized by 135 of the 193 United Nations member states.    

    The conflict between Israel and Palestine started with Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967. Palestinians seek the establishment of an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

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    conflict, Middle East, United Nations, Abdel Hafiz Nofal, Russia, Israel, Palestine
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