Israelis and Palestinians agree to meet in Moscow, Report

The report, released by Russian news agencies Interfax and TASS, say that the two sides have agreed to a meeting in principle; it is the second of its kind this week.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said a two-state solution cannot be reached while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

 

On Thursday Russia confirmed that the Israeli and Palestinians leaders have agreed in principle to meet in Moscow. “It is most important to choose an appropriate moment for it, the intense contacts continue, including on this issue, ” she said. “We are satisfied by how Russia’s role in the Middle East peace process is demanded.”, Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax report, citing the Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova . No date was given by the agency for the possible meeting. it is the second of its kind in this week.

The report comes after rumors had been circulating on Monday regarding such a meeting, leading to much confusion.  The Russian agency than said that Abbas had agreed to meet with Netanyahu in Russia for direct talks. The Palestinian ambassador to Russia was quoted as saying that the meeting was supposed to take place on September 9 but that Israel requested that it be delayed.

While Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister was considering an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin to host the talks between the Israeli leader and Abbas.

On Tuesday, during a state visit in Holand,  Netanyahu said “I am ready to meet with Mahmoud Abbas any time with no preconditions to engage in direct talks…I am not picky about the place—whether it is here in the Netherland’s or in Moscow is no problem.”

“The central question is whether Mahmoud Abbas 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, ” Netanyahu said.

After US mediation efforts in 2013 and 2014 failed, Netanyahu and Abbas direct dialogue had nearly come to a grinding halt. Since then, both sides Netanyahu and Abbas had repeatedly stated in public that they are willing to meet any time, any place.

Despite the reported agreement by Abbas and Netanyahu’s repeated calls for renewing negotiations without preconditions, the PA president is insisting that on a construction freeze in the West Bank and a discussion which will establish a timetable for what he describes as “the end of the occupation” prior to the commencement of talks.

“We are convinced that there is a need to resume the negotiations, which would be a factor serving the interests in normalizing the situation, ” Zakharova said.

Zakharova added “It is most important to choose an appropriate moment for it, the intense contacts continue, including on this issue, ” she said. “We are satisfied by how Russia’s role in the Middle East peace process is demanded.”

Reuters and staff

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