Ambassador: Abbas to visit Russia in January
Published Saturday 21/12/2013 (updated) 22/12/2013 18:19
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to pay a visit to Russia in January to update the Russians on the latest developments regarding peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Palestine's ambassador to Russia said.
Faed Mustafa highlighted that the Kremlin would soon make an official announcement about the visit.
As a member of the International Quartet, Russia should have a "more visible role" and that is what the Palestinian leadership is seeking to encourage,the ambassador said.
He pointed out that the Israelis might not be interested in Russian intervention, however.
On Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavarov told the speaker of the National Security Council of Israel that Russia was willing to help create better atmosphere to continue with peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the United States after nearly three years of impasse.
Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began.
The Palestinian negotiating team resigned in protest against continued Israeli settlement construction in mid-November, dealing a major blow to negotiations between Israel and the PLO that had already been stalled.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.