Moscow, MINA – Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit the Palestinian territories and meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss trade relations, peace negotiations, and upcoming Palestinian elections.
Putin is scheduled to go to Bethlehem on January 23 to meet Abbas and visit the Church of Nativity and President of the Palestinian Organization for Culture and Economy, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Al-Monitor on Monday.
Putin’s visit to the West Bank is part of a regional tour that will also go to Israel to participate in the Holocaust commemorative event and the 75th anniversary of the release of Soviet troops from prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
The Palestinian Authority hopes that talks between Abbas and Putin will strengthen Russian-Palestinian bilateral relations and develop economic and political cooperation between them.
The authorities also encourage Russia to play a greater role in the peace process with Israel.
Nofal said that Putin’s visit was important to political developments in the region.
The importance of this visit is also due to Russia’s support for a two-state solution and its opposition to a series of US decisions that violate international law such as the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its legitimacy over settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority relies on Russian support as a partner in playing a key role in the peace process.
As it is known, Russia recognized Palestine as a state 31 years ago and supported the right of Palestinian people to establish a state on the 1967 border.
In the last two years, there has also been an increase in Palestinian trade and economic cooperation with Russia.
On November 22, the two governments signed a series of memoranda of understanding (MoU) and other agreements in Moscow to develop trade and economic relations.
On the other hand, Russia also has strong ties with Israel.
“A good Israeli-Russian bond might serve the peace process by providing Russian or international sponsors for it and we reject the US sponsorship,” Nofal said.
He added that Russia’s political influence in the world was increased.
He said, “We don’t want Russia to fight for us alone, but we hope Russia will coordinate the European Union’s stance regarding the peace process.”
Nofal indicated that Abbas would have several requests for Putin, notably holding an international peace conference in collaboration with member states of the UN Security Council and finding an international formula for negotiations similar to Iran’s nuclear. (T/R7/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)