Palestinian President Abbas meets Putin in Russia

Palestinian President Abbas meets Putin in Russia, calls for peace quartet that 'replaces US'
2 min read
24 November, 2021
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Mahmoud Abbas spoke with his Russian counterpart in Sochi on Tuesday [Kremlin Press Service/Anadolu/Getty]

Russian President Vladimir Putin received his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday in the resort city of Sochi to discuss a return to negotiations with Israel and the future of peace efforts.

The discussions were in line with Moscow's backing of a two-state model for the region, The Jerusalem Post reported.

On Monday, Abbas hinted at a new Middle East peace summit overseen by a Quartet of Russia, the US, the United Nations, and the EU.

The Palestinian president informed Russia's Sputnik: "We are confident that Russia will support our efforts" on the summit.

Abbas said he would update Putin on the PA's ties with Israel "and how to find a solution that is based on international legitimacy".

The meeting was also intended to boost Russian-Palestinian ties.

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Ahmad Majdalani, who sits on the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the Sochi trip aimed at reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

One Palestinian figure claimed Abbas' Russia trip was aimed at preventing the US from dominating the process.

They said: "We want the participation of several international parties in the peace process.

"The experience of the past has shown that the US can't oversee the peace process alone, mainly because of its bias in favour of Israel."

They also accused the President Joe Biden administration of being "weak" and not seeking to be prominent in the Middle East, leading Ramallah to want other "Quartet members to replace the US as the main sponsors of the peace process".

The figure described Putin as "a friend of the Palestinian people", saying he "is committed to the two-state solution".

It is not known if the two discussed Mohammed Dahlan, the ex-Gaza security head for the Palestinian Authority living in exile in the UAE following a clash between him and Abbas.

After Dahlan travelled to the Russian capital earlier this week to meet Sergei Lavrov, it has been suggested that Russia might act as an intermediary to resolve the crisis.

Members of the Fatah Party have rejected this suggestion.

"Mohammed Dahlan is a convicted criminal, and he will not be allowed to return to the Fatah leadership," one member said. adding that he could be jailed if he returned to Ramallah.