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Saturday, May 13, 2017
Palestine Welcomes US-Russia Coordination on Organizing Direct Talks With Israel

Palestine Welcomes US-Russia Coordination on Organizing Direct Talks With
Israel
Palestine welcomes any cooperation between Russia and the United States
aimed at restoring the Middle East peace process and facilitating direct
talks between Israel and Palestine, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad
Abu Amr told Sputnik.
10:40 13.05.2017(updated 10:41 13.05.2017)
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201705131053572142-palestine-russia-us-israel-talks/

MOSCOW (Sputnik) The comment comes just days after Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the
Russian resort city of Sochi on Thursday and US leader Donald Trump in
Washington on May 3, with both Russian and US presidents expressing their
commitment to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace
settlement.

"The coordination between Russia and the United States in arranging the
meeting between Palestine and Israel is likely and we welcome it as long as
it is coordinated in the interest of achieving progress in the peace process
and we say it publicly. Russia is very important as well as the United
States. Any peace efforts between the Palestinians and the Israelis have to
be endorsed and supported by both superpowers," Ziad Abu Amr told Sputnik.

Both Russia and the United States are members of the Middle East Quartet,
which strives for revival of the Israeli-Palestinian talks, which are in
deadlock since mid-2013.

Putin suggested a meeting of Israel and Palestine in Moscow as early as in
2016, with both sides stating that they supported the idea. However, the
meeting has not taken place yet.

On Thursday, Abbas said at a joint press conference with Putin that
Palestine welcomed the invitation to hold a trilateral meeting in Moscow
with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Tuesday, the Palestinian
president said that his country was ready to meet the Israeli side in the
United Sates as well.

On May 9, Abbas told the RT broadcaster in an interview that he thought
about a sort of political "rapprochement" between Moscow and Washington, and
added that Palestine would like to use even a minimal mutual understanding
between Russia and the United States in order to solve the Palestinian
issue.

Palestine hopes Trump will continue efforts aimed at restoring the Middle
East peace process during his upcoming trip to the region later in May,
where he is scheduled to visit the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, Israel and
Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian deputy prime minister said.

"We expect that during Trump's visit to Bethlehem we will pursue what we
have started in the White House with regard to American efforts to revive
the peace process in the Middle East," Ziad Abu Amr said.

Trump has decided to visit the city of Bethlehem in Palestine on May 23 as
part of his first foreign trip to the Middle East. Trump stressed that
comprehensive peace could only be attained through direct talks between
Israelis and Palestinians.

"He is expected to visit Saudi Arabia and Israel so it is only natural to
visit Palestine. He is scheduled to visit Bethlehem on May 23. It also comes
as a follow up to President Abbas visit to Washington earlier this month,"
the official said.

Over decades, Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for
their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The
Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent
political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the
occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

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