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Russia to host internal Palestinian reconciliation talks

Image of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in meeting with Russian delegates in Moscow [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]
Image of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in meeting with Russian delegates in Moscow [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]

Russia is to host a meeting for the major Palestinian factions on 15 January, local news agency TASS reported yesterday.

The Russian news agency said that senior PLO official Wasel Abu Yousef told the Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post about this planned meeting.

Quds Press also reported a senior Palestinian official discussing the meeting. The news organisation did not name the official but said the meeting would discuss the reorganisation of Palestinian institutions.

"The Russians will host a meeting of Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian officials in Moscow in the middle of January to discuss reconciliation," Abu Yousef said.

"The Palestinian leadership wants to demonstrate that it is working on both the peace process through the Paris conference and reconciliation by way of the Moscow meeting," he added, noting that the talks to take place simultaneously when the Paris peace conference is being held.

TASS reported the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa Mikhail Bogdanov saying on 3 June 2016 that, in addition to Israeli settlements, "the split among Palestinians is another negative factor hampering the peace progress".

Bogdanov said: "This issue should be resolved as the priority task so that the Palestinians present a single and united delegation at the talks on the final status."

"Russia fully supports efforts on soonest restoration of inter-Palestinian unity on the basis of PLO and the Arab Peace Initiative, holds dialogue with representatives of the whole range of Palestinian forces, first of all Fatah and Hamas, in the interests of achieving appropriate agreements."

Quds Press reported Abbas Zaki, another PLO official, saying that the Palestinians are hopeful the meetings will have a positive outcome.

But Palestinian political analyst Ahmed Awad told Quds Press that this meeting would not be more than a show of public relations for Russia, which has been seeking bigger role in the region.

"Moscow maintains good relations with many of the Palestinian factions," he said, "however, it is weaker than mediating an internal reconciliation which needs financial and security guarantees that Russia is unable to fulfil."

Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineRussia
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