Meeting with President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas 2017-05-11 14:30:00 Sochi Vladimir Putin met at his Sochi residence, Bocharov Ruchei, with President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, who is in Russia on a working visit. Before the talks, Mr Putin and Mr Abbas participated via video link-up in the opening of a multifunctional cultural and sports centre built with Russia’s assistance in Bethlehem. The centre was built at Mr Putin’s initiative and is a gift to the people of Palestine. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends, allow me to welcome you in Russia. I am very pleased to see you again. We have special relations with Palestine and our ties have great significance to us. We spoke just now with our colleagues in Palestine, in Bethlehem, about the deep roots of the relations binding our two countries. And in recent history, our ties have always been very warm and trusting. I want to thank you, Mr President, for the attention that you pay to Russian-Palestinian relations and for the support you give to our compatriots living in Palestine and those who come to the holy places as pilgrims. We have been working together for many years now on one of the world’s key issues today – a Middle East settlement We have much to discuss, of course. It is a great pleasure to see you. I hope that your visit will be very productive. PresidentofPalestineMahmoudAbbas (retranslated): Thank you very much. We are indeed filled with joy at the opening of this wonderful centre in Bethlehem, which was built at your initiative. I note your personal attention, and Russia’s attention to strengthening Russian-Palestinian relations. This year we are marking the 135th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Russia and Palestine. The Palestinian people take pride in these relations, from their establishment and to this day. This is because the Palestinians have always known that you are together with us, support us, and share similar positions. Russia’s position has always remained unchanged in this sense from the start of our ties and to this day. Russia is distinguished by its firm stance, a position advocating the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. We have always heard this position from you. It is firm, and you always maintain it. It is not possible to resolve the Palestinian issue without Russia’s real participation. This is our aim and we always say this at all international platforms. I would like to say again that we hope for your continued support. We have always said that Russia must stand beside us and take a similar position. I hope that this will be the case over the coming days and months, and that, through these efforts, we will ultimately achieve the creation of the State of Palestine. Vladimir Putin: Thank you.