Tags: Donald Trump | Israel | Middle East | Russia | vladimir putin | mahmoud abbas | peace

Putin-Abbas: US Important, Just Not Sole Mediator, in Peace Process

Image: Putin-Abbas: US Important, Just Not Sole Mediator, in Peace Process
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Thaer Ghanaim/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 08:41 PM

President Donald Trump was not at the meeting, but he was at the top of the agenda in Moscow during Feb. 12 talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Monitor reported Monday.

According to Al-Monitor, just a few minutes ahead of the meeting, Trump phoned Putin to express condolences over a Feb. 11 civilian jet crash that killed 17 people.

But the pair talked about other topics as well — including the Palestinian-Israeli settlement process, the outlet reported.

According to Al-Monitor, Putin passed Trump's "best wishes" to Abbas as the two leaders started the conversation.

"Naturally, we talked about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement process. I would like to convey his best wishes," the Russian leader said to Abbas, the outlet reported.

Later, Washington clarified Trump had emphasized the need to start working out an "enduring peace agreement" between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Al-Monitor reported.

Abbas and his allies remain furious that Trump last December reversed decades of U.S. policy to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and set in motion the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv.

"President Putin made it clear that Russia does not exclude the United States from the Middle East settlement process — we do not do it either," Nabil Shaath, Abbas' adviser on foreign affairs and international relations, told Al-Monitor.

"We are just unwilling to see the United States as the sole mediator."

The Middle East peace process has been gradually returning to the world's agenda, Al-Monitor reported. And Putin demonstrated to the Palestinian side the United States remains the key party to the peace process.

"It is no coincidence that Putin started his conversation with Abbas with 'greetings from Trump,'" Al-Monitor's Marianna Belenkaya wrote Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Al-Monitor reported Monday that President Donald Trump was not at the meeting, but he was at the top of the agenda in Moscow during Feb. 12 talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
vladimir putin, mahmoud abbas, peace, palestinians
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2018-41-19
Monday, 19 February 2018 08:41 PM
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