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Abbas meets with Putin in Russia, discusses bilateral relations

May 11, 2017 6:58 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2017 12:48 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday during a visit to the Sochi Resort in western Russia.

According to a statement released by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Abbas informed Putin of developments in the occupied Palestinian territory, and emphasized the suffering of the Palestinian people under Israel’s “racist” policies.

The statement added that Putin and Abbas also discussed bilateral relations and strategies to enhance the decades-long peace process between Palestine and Israel.

Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziyad Abu Amro, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki, and a number of Russian officials attended the meeting with Abbas and Putin.

Following the meeting, both presidents, along with Palestinian and Russian officials, are expected to hold a “work lunch” to honor Abbas’ visit to Russia.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also met with Abbas during his visit to the West Bank earlier in the week, when Abbas reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution, while Steinmeier expressed his support for a Palestinian state and confirmed the continued assistance of the German government to Palestinian state-building.

Meanwhile, ultra-right US President Donald Trump will also be visiting both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the month during his trip to the occupied West Bank and Israel. However, the right-wing president has remained largely elusive regarding his policies on Israel-Palestine, as he has expressed his support for Israel’s illegal settlement building on Palestinian territory in the past, while also making statements critical of settlements following his inauguration.
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