Were the Israelis and Palestinians Supppsed to Meet in Moscow?

abbas and netanyahu

There is no Israeli meeting with Palestinians in Moscow planned,  the Russian news agency Interfax reported today. Rumors had been rife regarding such a meeting, leading to much confusion.

“President Putin has proposed a meeting on Sept. 9 in Moscow, ” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said earlier in a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.

“I agreed to this and I was to go to Moscow directly from here. Unfortunately yesterday in Jerusalem, ” Abbas continued, ” President Putin’s representative and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s representative held a meeting and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s representative proposed to postpone the meeting for later, so there will be no meeting (on Sept. 9), ” Abbas said.

The ongoing conflicted positions of the Palestinian President and the Israeli Prime Minister continued with reaction by Benjamin Netanyahu today during a press conference with The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Netanyahu said:

“I am ready to meet with Abu Mazen (Abbas) any time with no preconditions to engage in direct talks. This is something which I have said hundreds of times and I will repeat it again and say here: I am not picky about the place—whether it is here in Holland or in Moscow is no problem. It can absolutely be in Moscow. I said this to President Putin and I also said this to the Russian envoy Bogdanov just yesterday.

“The central question is whether Abu Mazen is ready to meet without preconditions. We hear conflicting versions. Just yesterday Palestinian spokespersons said that they were ready to meet but that they have conditions—the release of prisoners—and they want to know in advance what the results of the talks will be.

“If Abu Mazen wants to meet without preconditions for direct talks I am ready any time. I have been calling on him to do this for seven years already and if he agrees to do so there will be a meeting.

News agencies reported from Jerusalem on Sept. 5 ​on ameeting between ​Benjamin Netanyahu ​and​ Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy for the Middle East​.

Netanyahu’s office said​ after the meeting the two discussed the possibility of a meeting between him and President Abbas, ​in Moscow. ​
A statment ​realesed​ ​after the meeting read:​ “The Prime Minister presented Israel’s position that he is always ready to meet with President Abbas directly and without preconditions​. ​He is therefore reviewing the Russian President’s proposal and the timing of a possible meeting.”
according toAFP news agencyAbbas allegedly confirmed to Abed al-Hafeez Nofa, the Palestinian Ambassador to Russia, that he had agreed to meet with Netanyahu in Moscow with Putin’s mediation.

Nofa claimed Israel was “evading the requirements of the meeting.”
meanwhile,  i24news reported that Palestinian officials in Ramallah denied the report that Abbas accepted the Russian proposal.

      

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