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Palestine expects meeting with Israel in Moscow later this year — ambassador

September 13, 2016, 18:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Israeli Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that the Israeli-Palestinian summit could take place in Moscow or Luxembourg

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Palestine’s Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafez Nofal

Palestine’s Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafez Nofal

© Sergei Shakhidzhanyan/TASS

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. Palestine expects that a meeting with the Israeli leadership will be held in Moscow before the end of the year, Palestine’s Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafez Nofal told TASS.

Israeli Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that the Israeli-Palestinian summit could take place in Moscow or Luxembourg as the country’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel had invited his Israeli counterpart to visit Luxembourg.

"Palestine insists that the meeting is held in Moscow and not at some other place. We hope the meeting takes place in Russia’s capital before the end of the year. Any time, when Russia considers it possible, we are ready to meet the Israeli leadership", the ambassador said.

In his view, Russia "is now determining a different date for the meeting".

"We don’t know when and how it is going to happen", Nofal said.

Russia's PM visit

Palestine hopes Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will pay a visit to that state in November, Nofal added. 

"Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Palestine and Israel after November 11," he said. "The Palestinian leadership is at the final stage of preparations for this important visit," he said.

The press service of the Russian government confirmed that a possibility of such visit is being looked at but the exact date has not yet been appointed.

The Palestinian side hopes to discuss a wide range of issues during the Russian prime minister’s visit. "The program of Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Palestine will include meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and members of the Palestinian administration," the ambassador said. "They will discuss bilateral relations and ways to enhance cooperation between our states."

According to the Palestinian diplomat, the visit will have a cultural agenda too, as Russia’s Science and Culture Center in Bethlehem offers a wide variety of cultural, sports and educational events.

The ambassador noted that his country deeply appreciated Russia’s stance and efforts concerning the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Nofal added that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had invited Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet in Russia’s capital on September 8-9. "The Palestinian authorities accepted the invitation but Israel avoided the meeting on the peace process", the ambassador said.

The diplomat also spoke about his meeting with Russian president’s envoy for the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, which took place on Monday. "We discussed a number of questions, including the possible Israeli-Palestinian summit and the results of Mikhail Bogdanov’s visit to Palestine where he had met with Palestinian leadership. The settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue is one of the most important regional issues", the ambassador added expressing confidence that Russia-US deal on ceasefire in Syria will also help establish favorable conditions to facilitate the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict".

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