President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
Let me wish you all a warm welcome to Moscow.
I am very pleased that we meet regularly and have the chance to hold consultations and make adjustments to our bilateral relations and our reactions to events in the region.
I know that you are making vigorous efforts to get the peace process moving. Mr President, I can assure you that we will support all efforts you make to activate the conditions needed for paving the way to constructive dialogue.
It would be of great interest for us to discuss with you regional problems in general, and, of course, to examine our bilateral economic relations, given that we now have a framework in place, have established the intergovernmental commission, and launched its work.
President of the State Palestine Mahmoud Abbas (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President,
It is a great pleasure to be here, particularly at this time when important Middle East problems and security issues are being resolved.
As you just said, we are making active efforts to achieve a settlement with Israel on the basis of the principle of two states existing within the 1967 borders, and a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
As you know, Palestine and Israel are not holding political talks right now. On the agenda at the moment are particular matters of contacts with the Israelis on security matters regarding Area A, which is in Palestine. We will look at this in more detail later, and at other matters concerning the peace process.
Among the most important matters now is France’s initiative to convene an international conference on the Middle East peace process. We want to discuss this in more detail with you. This matter is of great importance for us.
As you know, a conference on a peace settlement in the Middle East took place in Annapolis. That conference was to be followed by a second conference on the peace process in Moscow, but this did not go ahead. Holding this international conference on the Middle East is therefore on the agenda now.
This initiative involves two elements. The first is to organise a meeting between the foreign ministers of the countries planning to take part in the conference, and the second element is to hold the conference itself.
This international conference requires us to define the principles upon which we will base the Middle East settlement. It also requires us to draft a provisional timetable for talks and for making the final decisions.