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Putin, Abbas to discuss situation in Middle East, Russia-Palestine cooperation — Kremlin

April 13, 2015, 11:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The trade turnover between the two countries has grown by 80% in 2014

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MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas will discuss pressing regional problems at a meeting in Moscow today, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

"A comprehensive exchange of opinions on the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa is expected, with an emphasis on prospects of Middle Eastern settlement, situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen," the press service said.

"An important place in the Russian-Palestinian relations belongs to trade and economic cooperation," the Kremlin noted. The trade turnover between the two countries has grown by 80% in 2014 and reached $1.5 million. The working group for consultations on economic and investment issues, set up in May 2013, has helped reach an agreement on creating a full-format Russian-Palestinian inter-parliamentary commission on trade and economic cooperation. "The corresponding agreement will be signed in the framework of the visit," the press service said.

Moscow has also noted good pace of humanitarian development. "Russia facilitates in preparing qualified personnel for Palestine. In 2014/2015 academic year, 207 Palestinians were enrolled in Russian educational institutions. In general, more than 500 Palestinian citizens currently study in Russia," the press service said. "In the second quarter of this year, it is planned to complete the construction of the multi-functional center located in Bethlehem on Putin Street," the Kremlin said.

There are also prospects for cooperation in tourism, the press service said. "The number of Russians visiting holy sites in Palestine is steadily growing," the Kremlin said, adding more than 400,000 Russian tourists visited Palestine last year.

In the framework of Abbas’ visit to Moscow, the Palestinian president will hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Patriarch Kirill and Grand Mufti of Russia Raqil Gaynetdin.

Abbas made an official visit to Russia in March 2013 and working trips in January and June 2014.

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