Medvedev, Abbas to discuss Middle East peace process

Sochi (Russia), Jan 26 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday to discuss the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks, a Kremlin source said.

Abbas, who is currently on a three-day visit to Russia, will meet Medvedev in the southern Russian city of Sochi. The previous meeting between the two leaders was held in Moscow in April 2009.

The talks will focus on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have seen a lack of progress due to the Jewish outpost expansion in the West Bank.

‘Both Russian and Palestinian sides are convinced that this (the resumption of talks) is possible only through a collective effort, based on a solid international legal basis, (and) in strict accordance with the provisions of the road map, UN Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative,’ the source said.

Russia, along with the UN, the US and European Union, comprises part of the Middle East Quartet of intermediaries for peace efforts.

Under the internationally agreed road map for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity, and remove unauthorised outposts built since 2001 from the Palestinian territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in late November that construction would be limited in the occupied West Bank, but not in East Jerusalem. He also said it would resume in the future.

Medvedev and Abbas will also discuss bilateral cooperation, aimed at ‘creating effective state institutions and overcoming acute humanitarian, social and economic problems’, as well as inter-Palestinian unity, the source said.

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