Maria Zakharova

Israeli PM, Palestinian president agree to meet for talks in Moscow: Russia

Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have agreed “in principle” to meet in Moscow as Russia hopes for the revival of the so-called peace talks.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow had heard from the offices of the Palestinian president and the Israeli premier that the pair agreed to meet in the Russian capital, Moscow, but added that it was not clear when the meeting would take place.

“The most important thing is to pick the right timing,” Zakharova said, adding, “Intensive contacts on this are ongoing.”

On Tuesday, Abbas said during a visit to Poland that a Russian-proposed meeting with the Israeli prime minister had been delayed.

Polish President Andrzej Duda (C-R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C-L) inspect an honor guard during an official welcoming ceremony in the courtyard of the presidential palace in Warsaw on September 6, 2016. ©AFP

Abbas added that he had agreed to a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet Netanyahu in Moscow on September 9 and planned to travel to the Russian capital directly from Warsaw.

This came after Abdel Hafiz Nofal, the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, said that Abbas had accepted the Russian initiative for a meeting with Netanyahu, noting, however, that “the Israelis are evading the requirements of the meeting.”

Netanyahu’s office also said in a statement on Monday that Putin’s Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov had discussed the proposal with the Israeli premier in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinian leaders earlier had rejected the idea of open-ended talks with Israel, saying any future negotiations with the Tel Aviv regime should have a time cap.

The latest round of the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which was organized by the United States, collapsed in 2014.

Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied lands and its refusal to release senior Palestinian prisoners were among major reasons behind the failure of the talks.

Israel’s defiance of international calls for pulling out of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds is viewed as a major reason behind the failure of previous initiatives.

The developments also come as occupied territories have been witnessing new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

At least 236 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of last October.

By Press TV