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Putin, Merkel discuss US ‘deal of the century’, execution of Libya conference decisions

They also hashed over the developments in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the Middle East peace process issue

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the US Israeli-Palestinian conflict settlement plan, which Washington dubbed "the deal of the century," during a phone call, initiated by Berlin, the Kremlin press service said.

"Among other topics, they hashed over the developments in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the Middle East peace process issue. In this context, the leaders exchanged opinions regarding the US plan for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the press service commented.

Other subjects included the implementation of the agreements reached at the conference on Libya held in Berlin on January 19, the Kremlin press service reported.

"[The parties] discussed the implementation of the agreements reached at the international conference on Libya in Berlin on January 19," the press service said. "The Russian president pointed to the need to coordinate the decisions made [at the conference] with the Libyan parties, which is important for their subsequent consideration and approval by the UN Security Council." "The two sides highlighted the expediency of stepping up the international community’s efforts for the benefit of ensuring a stable ceasefire and launching a political dialogue."

The two leaders also raised some bilateral issues and agreed on further contacts.

Libya conference

On January 19, Berlin hosted a high-level conference on the settlement process in Libya. In the final document, the participants in the meeting called for a ceasefire, pledged to refrain from meddling in Libya’s affairs, proposed to form a unified government and trigger reforms to restore the country’s nationhood destroyed by NATO’s intervention in 2011. The parties to the conflict also agreed to set up a commission to monitor the ceasefire.

'Deal of the century'

On January 28, US President Donald Trump unveiled the key points of the so-called "deal of the century," a plan for Israel-Palestine settlement process based on mutual recognition of both states.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the initiative and said he was willing to start negotiations immediately. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the deal, while the Hamas movement stressed that the plan is "not worth the ink it was written with."

On January 30, Putin and Netanyahu discussed the US plan during the talks in Moscow. After the meeting, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS that the Kremlin continued to analyze Washington’s initiative.