Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:11AM
The acting Palestinian Authority chief is in Russia on a 4-day visit. Mahmoud Abbas has already met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is in Moscow at the invitation of the Russian President. This is his first official visit since Palestine was granted a non-member observer state status by the United Nations in November last year. The two leaders talked about the situation in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Hopefully, this year we will begin substantial negotiations with Israel, and even though we don’t get our hopes up, we still think there is a chance for a political solution based on a two-state concept. Mahmoud Abbas said he hoped for the renewal of a peace process in the region based on international laws. The Russian President for his part pledged support for Palestine. Talks between Putin and Abbas finished with the Russian leader presenting the PA chief with an order of friendship for his contribution to the ties between Russia and Palestine. Mahmoud Abbas also met with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. They discussed the situation in Syria. If the sides continue to use force to solve the Syrian crisis, the consequences could be grave. We are deeply convinced that violence must be stopped immediately, otherwise this could destroy the whole country. During his visit to Russia, Mahmoud Abbas also held talks with the Russian Prime Minister. Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow supports Palestine's statehood efforts and the promotion of peace in the Middle East.