At the meeting, Mr Putin and Mr Arafat discussed the Middle East crisis and the efforts Russia could take to help normalise the situation in the region.
Mr Putin expressed great concern over recent events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone, which had driven the latest peacekeeping efforts to the brink of catastrophe, and underlined that there were possibilities for progress in the region, but all efforts and aspirations would be useless unless the level of outrage and violence was reduced.
Mr Putin also stressed the danger that the conflict could escalate from a bilateral to a regional one, which in his opinion would threaten stability in several Middle Eastern countries.
After the talks with Mr Arafat, President Putin had a long telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Afterwards, the talks with the leader of the Palestinian National Authority continued.
Later, Mr Arafat placed a telephone call to Prime Minister Ehud Barak from President Putin’s office. In the course of the telephone conversation – the first private talk between the two Middles Eastern leaders in three weeks – the parties agreed to resume “limited” cooperation in the security sphere and revive the operation of “liaison offices” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
After the telephone conversations, the Russian and Palestinian leaders exchanged opinions on the agreements reached.