Abbas calls for co-ordination of efforts with Russia

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said closer ties with Russia could be crucial in finding a solution to the Palestinian conflict. He is currently in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart. The visit is set to focus on ending the continuing v

The Palestinian President also hopes to use this meeting to strengthen existing friendships.

Mahmoud Abbas gave an exclusive interview to Russia Today’s sister channel, the Arabic-language Rusiya Al-Yaum.

“For sure, we live in a very difficult time, in a very difficult situation. We have to take some active steps in order to overcome this crisis. It is only natural and timely for us to visit Russia at this time. Our relations with Russia have always been good. We should always co-ordinate our efforts with our Russian friends, President Putin and the Foreign Ministry, and exchange our views because we have close ties with Russia. Russia plays a major role in international affairs, and it’s a member of the Middle East Quartet. Our visit is important, as it will afford an opportunity to share and hear each other’s views. God willing, we will work out some joint decisions,” Mahmoud Abbas said.

Mahmoud Abbas also gave an exclusive interview to Russia Today. To watch it please follow the link.

Mahmoud Abbas is meeting with President Putin for the first time since Hamas seized control of Gaza splitting the Palestinian territories. After bloody clashes in June, the Palestinian Autonomy is split into two adversarial parts. The Gaza strip is now controlled by the Hamas movement, while their rivals Fatah are in control of the West Bank. The trip to Moscow is a chance for Mahmoud Abbas to prove he remains the only leader of Palestine.


For sure, we live in a very difficult time, in a very difficult situation. We have to take some active steps in order to overcome this crisis. It is only natural and timely for us to visit Russia at this time. Our relations with Russia have always been good. We should always co-ordinate our efforts with our Russian friends, President Putin and the Foreign Ministry, and exchange our views because we have close ties with Russia. Russia plays a major role in international affairs, and it’s a member of the Middle East Quartet. Our visit is important, as it will afford an opportunity to share and hear each other’s views. God willing, we will work out some joint decisions.

Mahmoud Abbas

“I am only encouraged by the thought that both President Abbas and Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, are set to achieve Palestinian unity. It is also extremely important to establish contact with the Arab league along with strengthening the role of the Middle East Quartet to resolve the problem,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated.

Russia was the first of the Middle East mediators to invite the Hamas leaders after their landslide victory in last year's elections. Although the visit didn't produce any significant decisions, it proved Moscow was a place where all parties in the Middle East could come to seek resolution.

The question is how will the hardliners from Hamas react to the Palestinian leader's visit and his recent ambitious proposal. Mahmoud Abbas says a peace treaty with Israel is possible within a year, something that no one expected to hear while the violence in the Autonomy continues.

Mahmoud Abbas has three days to convince Moscow there is a genuine hope for peaceful co-existence between Israel and Palestine, as well as for a united Palestinian state.

There is a new impetus to find a solution to the age-old conflict. The appointment of Tony Blair as a special envoy and the re-engagement of the U.S., underline the importance of Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.