In an effort to further demonstrate that he does not believe the French Initiative will further peace in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shown interest in a tripartite meeting between himself, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a Russian offer to meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas in Moscow.
Netanyahu met on Monday in Jerusalem with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy for the Middle East.
The two discussed the possibility of coordinating a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, hosted by Putin.
The Prime Minister’s Office stated that Netanyahu “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,” the statement read.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated Monday that the possibility of a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders with Russian mediation is not yet clear, Russia’s Sputnik news reported.
The report also discussed a possible meet in Moscow in late September, while there has been no official confirmation of such a meeting from either side.
Palestinian media sources reported over the weekend that Abbas has expressed willingness to meet for direct talks with Netanyahu, a move the Palestinian leader has so far repeatedly opposed.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that the PA is not opposed, “in principle,” to a meeting between the two leaders, but stated that they demand Israeli concessions before any talks can go forward.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News