BOCHAROV RUCHEY (Russia), (Sputnik) – Abbas met with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day.
"President Putin and I touched upon a range of issues on situation in the region. We appreciate Russia’s efforts to counter terrorism, as well as its contribution to strengthening security and stability in the Middle East, including Syria," the Palestinian leader told a joint press conference with Putin.
He stressed that Palestine had always called for a settlement in the region based on dialogue in order to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of both countries.
"We hope, bearing in mind the place and influence Russia has in the peace process, that it can be possible for our people to enjoy freedom and sovereignty, live in an independent Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem within the borders of 1967," Abbas added.
Palestine is engaged in decades-long conflict with Israel. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements within the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been a matter of global concern with the issue engaging international mediators. The Middle East Quartet, consisting of the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union, has been active since 2002. The Quartet is focused on support for Palestine in developing economy, public institutions, rule of law in the West Bank and Gaza.
Since September 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria targeted at terrorist positions at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime was introduced on December 30, 2016. Terrorist organizations are not part of the ceasefire.