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Medvedev admits necessity of the US' active role in the Middle East

Mahmoud Abbas in his turn also confirmed that Palestine expected the new US administration to help it settle its conflict with Israel

JERICHO, November 11. /TASS/. Washington’s active role in the Middle East is necessary, but it has not been very much in sight recently, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday following talks with Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

"Such an active and constructive role of the US in the Middle East settlement is necessary," he said. "However, it has not been very much in sight recently."

Russia will continue its efforts to settle the relations between Israel and Palestine.

"We, as mediators, will continue the efforts," the Russian premier said.

"But no mediation activity can substitute the political will of the negotiation participants themselves," Medvedev said.

"We hope other parties to the process will help, including the new US administration," the prime minister concluded.

Mahmoud Abbas in his turn also confirmed that Palestine expected the new US administration to help it settle its conflict with Israel.

"We want the Americans to start working in order to make some governmental decisions, create two countries that will live side by side in an atmosphere of security," Abbas said following the talks.

When asked if Palestine had been following the US election campaign and what it expected of the new administration, Abbas stated that the country had been keeping an eye on the election campaign but what was more important for Palestine was what Donald Trump would say after he entered the White House.

Abbas has also called on Russia to play a permanent effective role in ironing out disagreements between Israel and Palestine.

"We are always ready for peace with Israel on the basis of decisions by the two states and also on condition of complying with all international decisions and on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative. We have always said that we are ready to recognize Israel’s existence, but this would not be free on our part. We believe that Russia should play an effective and permanent role in any developments concerning the peace process," Abbas said.

The Palestinian leader noted that during the talks with Medvedev the two leaders raised the issue of a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Moscow, which, according to Abbas, the Israeli side earlier proposed to postpone.

When asked how Abbas would now react to an offer to meet with Netanyahu, the Palestinian leader said that his country has been ready for contacts and direct dialogue with Israel for many years. "When Russia came up with its initiative (on the Russia-Israel-Palestine trilateral meeting) we immediately supported it. Moreover, I met with Mr. Netanyahu on numerous occasions to discuss various issues with him. However, the most important thing is to understand how to carry on dialogue and on what issues, because Mr. Netanyahu should realize that it will be impossible to achieve peace until he has faith in official decisions," Abbas said.

He added that Palestine expects only one phrase from Netanyahu: "I support the two countries’ 1967 decision on borders." According to the Palestinian leader, after that any settlement between the two countries will be possible.