Abbas and Medvedev 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Friday, where the two leaders focused on efforts to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, AFP reported.
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Abbas was in Russia as part of a tour that also saw him visit London and Berlin in attempts to drum up European support.
The PA president told his Russian counterpart that a street had been named in Medvedev's honor in the West Bank town of Jericho, where he visited in January 2011.
"I see this as a symbol of Russian-Palestinian friendship, which
stretches back not decades, but centuries," AFP quoted Medvedev as
saying in response. "This is proof of the fact that our relations remain
on an excellent level," he added.
Russia is part of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators along with the US, the UN and the European Union.
Israel and the Palestinians have sparred over their different interpretations
of a Quartet framework to restart peace talks between the sides.
Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho and chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat met
Saturday night at the headquarters of the Jordanian General Intelligence
Department in Amman for the third round of Jordanian- sponsored talks
since January 3. For the first time, neither representatives of Jordan
nor the Quartet participated in these talks.
The Palestinians say January 26 is a deadline imposed by the Quartet on
the two sides last September to present comprehensive proposals on
border and security issues.
The Palestinians have already presented their proposals.
Israel, however, maintains January 26 is not a deadline, and the Quartet
said in its September statement outlining a path to renewing the talks
that the two sides needed to present their proposals 90 days after
direct talks began.
“It is not logical to think that we could solve all these issues and
present proposals 21 days after the talks began,” one Israeli government
official said. The official said Israel was more than willing to
present its proposals after 90 days, although he would not say whether
this included a willingness to present the Palestinians a map of where
precisely Israel wanted to draw the borders of a future Palestinian
One PA official in Ramallah said the US Administration and some EU
governments were putting heavy pressure on Abbas to continue the talks
with Israel after January 26.
He said American and European government officials have told Abbas the
Quartet deadline clock started only when the Israelis and Palestinians
began their talks in Amman three weeks ago. Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.