President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, dear colleagues and friends, I am very pleased to see you in Moscow.
We have met several times, but this is your first visit to Russia since Palestine was granted observer state status at the United Nations. Once again, congratulations on this momentous occasion.
Relations between Russia and Palestine have solid historical foundations. This will undoubtedly help us build relationships today and in the years to come. I am pleased to be able to say that relations between Palestine and Russia are developing successfully, including thanks to your efforts, Mr President.
We are very happy to see you. Welcome to Russia.
President of The State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas (retranslated): Thank you, we are also happy to be in Russia, in Moscow.
As you said, Your Excellency, our common goal is to give a new impetus to our bilateral relations. We are proud that our relations have been constantly developing from their very inception. We are also pleased to observe that these relations are developing successfully both at the highest political level and in other areas too, including the economy, humanitarian relations and culture.
Your Excellency, we are sincerely happy to be able to express our thanks for the Russian Federation’s support for Palestine’s position in the United Nations, and not only during the voting period, but also while working with other UN members in support of our application. We consider this to be a very important undertaking, and will do everything possible to use this foundation to move forward and achieve new goals.
We hope that substantive peace talks with Israel will begin this year. Although these hopes are perhaps not very high, we nevertheless expect that in the end a political settlement based on a two-state solution will be reached.
As it turns out, most of our visits to Moscow occur when it’s snowing. In this regard, I would recall the comment of our late President Yasser Arafat, who always said that snow in Moscow is invariably warm. It is warm because we feel the warmth in your hearts.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr President, especially for your concluding words.
I want to confirm that for our part nothing in this respect changes. We know that the situation in the region remains difficult. Just like you, we hope that it will develop in a positive way, and we will do everything in our power to facilitate this.