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Lavrov, Abbas discuss efforts to restore Palestinian unity

September 19, 20:04 updated at: September 19, 21:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had a meeting on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly

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MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. Efforts to restore Palestinian unity were in focus of a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"The sides exchanged opinion on issues of fair Palestinian-Israeli settlement on the basis of the international law, including the Arab Peace Initiative," the ministry said. "The sides also discussed tasks of restoring Palestinian unity with an eye of the swift resolution of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip."

The sides also discussed key practical aspects of the bilateral agenda and spoke "for comprehensive strengthening of the Palestinian-Russian ties in various spheres," the ministry added.

Abbas has informed Lavrov about proposals advanced by the Hamas party.

"Some changes have taken place in the recent time. First of all, it concerns the Hamas party. It concerns Egypt’s efforts: our delegation was in Egypt and we accepted all that was proposed to us. As a matter of fact, what was proposed is something we did not even ask, i.e. cancellation of the administrative committee Hamas has set up and consent for participation in the government of national accord that was formed in 2003, for work in the Gaza Strip and for elections," Abbas said.

"Earlier, I visited Turkey to discuss that matter. Then, the Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo, we did not know about that," he said, adding that the situation in the intra-Palestinian affairs was discussed with Qatar as well.

"We have always stressed that focusing on the problems in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we should not ignore the Palestinian problem," the Russian top diplomat said in turn.

"We, along with the majority of the United Nations Security Council member nations, stand for the implementation of the Security Council resolution, for the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative," Lavrov stressed.

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