Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and called for the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the PA, Russian media reported.

The Russian leader told Abbas that despite the difficulties, he was open to discussing joint steps toward approaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The situation in the region is not improving, unfortunately. And I am very glad to have this opportunity to meet with you and talk about its development and map out steps to normalize it,” Russian news agency ITAR-TASS quoted Putin as telling Abbas.

Abbas for his part, said his Palestinian delegation was interested in cooperating with the Kremlin regarding regional developments.

He called the convening with Putin "a meeting of two friends."

US-led peace negotiations broke down at the end of April amid the backdrop of the announcement of a reconciliation deal between Abbas's Fatah party and Hamas.

Russia, a close ally of the Palestinians since the Soviet era, has in the past called for east Jerusalem to be established as the capital of a future Palestinian state.



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