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MOSCOW, January 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday expressed gratitude to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbad for efforts to restore Russia’s positions in the Holy Land.
He expressed hope that the visit of the Palestinian leader “will make it possible to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the renewal of Palestinian-Israeli talks”. “I am glad to welcome you in Moscow,” Lavrov said. “Your program is busy, and a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will become its focal point,” the foreign minister added.
He said Russia expects to use the opportunity “to exchange opinions on the situation in the Middle East, on a need to resume Palestinian-Israeli talks on the existing international legal basis”.
Abbas, for his part, marked the importance of discussing at talks on Friday “latest events in Palestine, the problem of inter-Palestinian reconciliation and on the whole the situation in the region, which is tense now”.
Abbas, who is expected to be awarded with the Patriarch Alexy II Prize for contribution to mankind and creating fundamentals of the cultural dialogue and tolerance between peoples, expressed confidence that this will contribute “to the development of closer cooperation between Russia and Palestine”.
He also said that he usually visits Russian regions, and is glad that this time it will be Chuvashia.