Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with PA President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, on April 18 last year.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinians hope Russia will play a more significant role in the peace process between themselves and Israel, a Palestinian diplomat said on Sunday, a day before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian President Vladimir Putin are slated to meet in Russia.
Since US President Donald Trump’s decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiate the relocation of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the city, Abbas has said the Palestinians will no longer work with an American- dominated peace process and called for the establishment of multilateral peace process to replace it.
Abbas has called on Russia and a number of other states and organizations to undertake the role of mediating such a multilateral peace process. Israel has said it will only work with a US-led peace process.
“Russia is interested in what is happening in the region,” Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal told the official PA news agency Wafa. “We are betting on a larger and wider role for Russia in the peace process.”
Russia has not explicitly stated if it will undertake the creation of a multilateral peace process.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said his country will make efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
“We will be doing all we can with the aim to return the situation to the constructive track, which would promote the beginning of negotiations [between Palestine and Israel], and to ensure no party takes unilateral steps predetermining a final settlement,” he said on December 19.
Abbas last visited Russia in May 2017.
Next week, Abbas is slated to deliver a speech about Trump’s Jerusalem decisions to the UN Security Council in New York City.
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