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Palestinian president ready to meet with Israeli prime minister, Lavrov says

January 19, 21:31 UTC+3

Moscow will have contacts with both the Palestinian leaders and Israeli leadership in the immediate future, the Russian top diplomat said

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UNITED NATIONS, January 19. /TASS/. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in New York on Friday.

"Having seen the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ interest, we suggested Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas meet in Russia without preliminary conditions. This initiative is still in force. As far as I understand, the Palestinian president is ready for such a meeting," he said. "We will have contacts with both the Palestinian leaders and Israeli leadership in the immediate future and I think it will be an opportunity for us to learn at first hand about the possibilities of getting out of this complicated and unpleasant situation."

The Russian top diplomat also spoke about Russia’s contribution to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) helping Palestinian refugees after the United States had announced its decision to cut funding of that agency. "Of course, this decision first to stop paying contributions at all and then to pay only half of the sum undermines the efforts towards supporting Palestinian refugees in the region. We will have consultations with all the countries concerned to see what can be done," he said.

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