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Medvedev, Abbas hold talks in Moscow

01-21-2012 08:47 BJT

MOSCOW, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas met here on Friday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss ways of restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

Abbas, who arrived here on Thursday on the final leg of his European tour that also took me to Britain and Germany, named Russia the number one negotiation partner in the Middle East peace negotiations with Israel.

During their talks, Abbas said that one of the streets in the Palestinian town of Jericho would be named after Dmitry Medvedev in honor of his visit in Jan. 2011, according to the Kremlin official website.

Medvedev said that he saw this as a symbol of Russian- Palestinian friendship, which stretches back not decades but centuries.

Medvedev stressed that Russia is still interested in solving the Palestinian problem.

During his separate meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, Lavrov reiterated Moscow's "firm support" of the right for the Palestinian people to found their independent state living in peace with Israel.

"Russia, along with other (Mideast) Quartet members, will facilitate the restart of substantial Palestine-Israel talks and creating the appropriate atmosphere," Lavrov said.

Currently, Russia is a member of the peacemaking Middle East Quartet that also includes the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.

Russia urged Israel and Palestine to abstain from unilateral actions, including Israel's settlement activity on the occupied territories.

Direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel were suspended in Oct. 2010, after Israel failed to renew a ban on settlement building in the West Bank, which prompted Palestine to leave the talks.

Abbas will end his six-day visit to Russia next Tuesday.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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