In a meeting between the Palestinian and Russian presidents in Moscow, Putin assures Abbas that he has spoken with Trump, knows Palestinians want U.S. out of peace talks
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday he could no longer accept the role of the United States as a mediator in talks with Israel because of Washington’s behaviour, the Interfax news agency reported.
“We state that from now on we refuse to cooperate in any form with the U.S. in its status of a mediator, as we stand against its actions,” Abbas told Putin at the start of talks in Moscow. He said last week that he hoped Russia could assume a greater role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying the United States “can no longer play a leading role.”
Putin said during the meeting with the Palestinian leader that he had just spoken by telephone with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Putin mentioned the call with Trump at the start of his meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday.
He said: “Naturally we spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement” and told Abbas: “I would like to convey to you his best wishes.”
Putin met Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu exactly two weeks ago in Moscow. Russia has managed to maintain robust relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority government, as well as Israeli rivals Syria and Iran.
The region’s situation is “far from what we want to see,” Putin said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Trump honored a campaign promise in December by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowing to relocate the U.S. Embassy there.
The move outraged Palestinians and others across the Muslim world. Palestinian leaders have said it means Washington can no longer serve as a Mideast peace broker.
Creative Commons / Haaretz