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    URGENT: Putin, Abbas discuss Middle East settlement

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    MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have discussed by telephone Thursday the Middle Eastern peace settlement and Russia's aid to Palestine, the Kremlin press service said.

    "The Palestinian leader informed the Russian president on the developments in the Middle East following an important event, the withdrawal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip...The sides discussed practical aspects of foreign aid to Palestine, including Russia's plans in this sphere."

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