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    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (File)

    Direct Talks Between Palestinian, Israeli Leaders Not Planned - Ambassador

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Direct talks between the leaders of Palestine and Israel have not been planned, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Sputnik on Monday.

    "No, this is not planned, absolutely. There are no plans for the meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu as of now," the ambassador said, answering whether direct talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were possible on the results of the visits of the two leaders to Moscow on February 12 and January 29, respectively.

    The visits will be held some two months after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and instructed the US State Department to launch the process of moving the US Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem. 

    READ MORE: US, Jordan 'Agreed to Disagree' on Trump's Jerusalem Decision — Pence

    The Jerusalem problem is the cornerstone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The ancient city has been disputed ever since the foundation of Israel and the first Israeli-Arab war in 1948. The city was then separated into the Western and Eastern parts with the first one becoming a part of Israel and the second one being viewed as the capital of future Palestine.

    However, Israel seized the eastern part of the city in 1967 and recognize the "undivided" city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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