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Putin to hold talks with foreign leaders arriving for 2018 FIFA World Cup final

July 13, 2018, 17:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian president will meet with heads of Palestine, Gabon, Sudan, Moldova, Hungary, Qatar, France and Croatia

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© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will be holding a series of meetings on July 14-15 with heads of Palestine, Gabon, Sudan, Moldova, Hungary, Qatar, France and Croatia, Yuri Ushakov, the presidential aide, told reporters on Friday.

Putin’s meetings with foreign leaders is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, he said. The heads of state and government are traveling to Russia for the final match of the soccer World Cup, due at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.

On Saturday, Putin will hold talks with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas, whose previous visit to Russia was in February.

"They had lengthy talks (then) and now they will continue discussing the Middle East crisis," Ushakov said noting that the talks would focus on the US embassy’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Apart from that, the talks are expected to touch on bilateral and other issues.

Putin is due to meet with Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba on the same day. Ushakov pointed out that in October Russia would mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Gabon. There are good prospects to enhance cooperation between the countries, especially in the petrochemical industry. Another meeting on Saturday will be with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The Kremlin official added that the Russia-hosted World Cup had given a chance to meet with many African heads of state and government and this would further Russia’s cooperation with both separate nations and Africa as a continent.

Later in the day, Putin will hold talks with Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon to focus on the Russian-Moldovan relations, the situation in Transnistria and other issues, Ushakov said.

On Saturday night, the Russian president will watch a gala concert at the Bolshoi Theater dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

On Sunday, July 15, President Putin will hold talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and with French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, whose national teams will battle for the trophy.

In addition, Putin will meet with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani after a ceremony of handing over the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar.

Among other meetings are talks with President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach.

Finally, the Russian head of state will attend the final match at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, Ushakov said.

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