Putin, Abbas to meet April 18April 15th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, April 15 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will meet April 18 to discuss plans for a Middle East peace conference due to be held in Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman said Tuesday. Abbas, who is to arrive in Moscow Friday, will discuss bilateral relations with Russia besides the Middle East peace process during talks with the Russian president, the official said.
Russia is involved in the Middle East peace process as a party to the quartet of mediators along with the US, the UN and the European Union.
Moscow’s plans to host the conference in mid-June - a follow up to last November’s talks in Annapolis in the US - have received the backing of several Middle East states, including Syria.
“We cannot ignore any international meeting that will discuss our problems, and from all indications the upcoming meetings, especially the Moscow conference, will open the way to a real settlement along all lines of the Middle East peace process,” Faisal al Mekdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, told reporters in Damascus Monday.
Since November, Russia has urged Middle East states to implement agreements reached in Annapolis and to try to prevent unilateral measures.
The Middle East Quartet is set to gather April 17 in Amman, the capital of Jordan.