Netanyahu and Abbas.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A senior Palestinian Authority official said Sunday that discussions are underway with Moscow officials in arranging a meeting between Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of the year, according to The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv.
Ahmed Majdalani told Arab media that he was currently holding talks with Russia's head emissary to Ramallah in order to promote the initiative.
Majdalani noted that the effort is part of a joint initiative proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Russian President Vladamir Putin.
Sisi stated earlier this week during a meeting with newspaper editors in Cairo that Putin told him “he is ready to receive [Abbas] and Netanyahu in Moscow to carry out direct talks to find a solution.” Sisi added that he felt Israel was becoming more convinced of the need for a deal with the Palestinians.
"Before talks can be commenced, Israel must cease building settlements and release the fourth round of prisoners as per the Oslo accords," Majdalani stated. "We want the meeting to pave the way to a peace process, which will be consistent with the French initiative
," the PA official added.
In 1993, Israel publicly acknowledged its commitment to four prisoner releases as a condition of peace talks with the Palestinians, but has so far not met the terms of the agreement.