14 March 2013, 09:37

Putin, Abbas to discuss resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks

Putin, Abbas to discuss resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday to discuss bilateral cooperation and topical international issues.

"The international agenda will center on current affairs in the Middle East, primarily, prospects for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. The sides will also exchange opinions of the situation in the region as a whole," the Kremlin reported.

Abbas is paying an official visit at the invitation of the Russian president from March 13 through 16. This is the first Russian visit of the Palestinian leader since Palestine was granted the UN observer state status on November 29, 2012.

"Russia historically values amicable relations with Palestine, attaches great importance to deepening cooperation in various areas. Intensive and meaningful dialog at the highest level plays a special part in the development of Russian-Palestinian cooperation," the press office said.

Russia is interested in expanding the trade and economic cooperation and establishing investment cooperation. The trade turnover in 2012 was $580,000. "Joint structures in business circles, firstly the Russian-Palestinian business council, are to facilitate this goal," the statement said.

Russia traditionally provides Palestinian people with support in various spheres, in particular, Russia has provided Palestine with humanitarian financial aid, a total of $30 million has already been allocated and a Russian Emergencies Ministry plane delivered humanitarian aid to Gaza people in December 2012.

"Various regional contacts strengthen the Russian-Palestinian ties. Twin-city relations have been established between Bethlehem and St. Petersburg, between Ramallah and the Central District of Moscow," the statement said.

Palestinian leader arrives in Moscow

Russia’s overall aid to the Palestinian people has reached $30mln, the Kremlin reported ahead of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday.

The Kremlin mentioned the Russian Emergency Ministry plane that delivered humanitarian aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip in December last year.

The Kremlin press-service reports that this year Russia is planning to pay a contribution of 2mln to the budget of the UN Middle East Agency for helping Palestinian refugees and organizing work.

Abbas’s current visit is the first after Palestine was granted the status of a UN observer-state on the 29th of November 2012.

During the talks between Putin and Abbas on Thursday the two leaders will discuss a wide range is issues, including the revival of Palestinian-Israeli talks.

Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS, Interfax

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