The prospects of bilateral cooperation, in particular the development of trade and economic ties, were also discussed.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I am very happy to welcome you to the Moscow area and to meet with you again. I feel it is imperative for us to touch base regularly, and I hope that today’s meeting will be productive.
Some time has passed since we last met. Unfortunately, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa has not gotten easier, but instead, has grown significantly more complicated. I think that today, we will exchange views on how the current events taking place in the Arab world can affect reconciliation in the Middle East.
”The situation in the Middle East and North Africa has not gotten easier, but instead, has grown significantly more complicated. I think that today, we will exchange views on how the current events taking place in the Arab world can affect reconciliation in the Middle East.“
In any case, Mr President, I would like you to know that Russia is interested in settling the Palestinian issue based on the principles I have outlined during my visit to the Palestinian Authority. I expect that despite the current difficulties, we will nevertheless be able to overcome negative trends. Today, I would like to exchange views with you on what to do in the short term.
Also, given that I have some fairly active foreign policy contacts schedule, I think that we could discuss current issues in Palestinian-Israeli dialogue – I am referring to the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister will soon be making a visit to Moscow.
I have warm memories of my visit to the Palestinian Authority and our talks. I would like to say that we will discuss issues of bilateral cooperation and other matters at today’s meeting as well. Again, Mr President, I welcome you.
President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President of the Russian Federation, for the invitation you sent me, and for this opportunity to meet with you.
We are always interested in and feel a pressing need to exchange views with people we trust. And the Russian leadership is at the forefront of the list of nations with which we engage in this kind of dialogue.
First, I would like to recall the historic visit you made to the Palestinian National Authority. I will say frankly and directly that this was an unprecedented visit, and it left an incredibly positive impression in the hearts of the Palestinian people.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.
Mahmoud Abbas: Of course, we will discuss the events that are currently happening throughout nearly the entire Arab world. And these events should be monitored carefully, so that we can see where they will lead. If these events lead to democracy, then naturally, this will be a positive development, one that should only be welcomed.
Indeed, these events are directly affecting us, but we certainly will not abandon the peace process and will continue our efforts to reach a fair and rightful state of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
”I think that we could discuss current issues in Palestinian-Israeli dialogue – I am referring to the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister will soon be making a visit to Moscow.“
Naturally, we are well aware of the work that the Russian Federation is doing with the aim of achieving peace in the Middle East, and Russia has been doing this work for a fairly long time. Another meeting of the Quartet of Middle East mediators will be held soon. We hope that this meeting will help advance the peace process. And that will be one of the topics that I would also like to discuss with you, Mr President.
Another topic that we should discuss is inter-Palestinian reconciliation. This reconciliation must bring the polarisation between Palestinians to an end. Just one week ago, I stated that I will be going to Gaza to discuss this issue and form a government consisting of well-known national figures, which government could determine the timing for presidential and parliamentary elections.
For my part, I hope that Hamas leadership will accept this initiative, and then I will be able to visit the Gaza Strip. And in this regard, I would also like to thank you for the statement made by the Russian Foreign Ministry supporting my initiative for inter-Palestinian reconciliation. I am certain that this step will influence the promotion of inter-Palestinian unity.