Abbas and Putin Meet to Discuss Israel-Palestine 'Peace Process'

David Friedman at opening of 2018 Jerusalem Conference

David Friedman at opening of 2018 Jerusalem Conference Arutz Sheva Staff

President Vladimir Putin told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas he discussed the Arab-Israeli peace process during a telephone conversation with his USA counterpart Donald Trump, Russian media reports.

During his meeting with Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, Putin said he could no longer accept the United States being a mediator in talks with Israel.

The White House also said the two leaders discussed North Korea's nuclear program, a topic not mentioned in the Kremlin's statement about the call.

Trump has repeatedly complained that Russian Federation is not doing all he says it should to pressure North Korea to lay down its nuclear arms through stringent economic sanctions.

The Palestinian leader has been highly critical of Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas has refused any contact with Trump's administration since Washington's decision at the end of past year.

Abbas's meeting with Putin came two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also visited Moscow.

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"We keep hearing in recent months that the United States is about to publish some "major deal" that ... will satisfy everyone", he said.

"In this current atmosphere created by the actions of the United States, we declare that starting from now, we refuse to cooperate in any way with the Americans as mediators, as we oppose their actions", Abbas said at talks with Putin, Russia's Sputnik news reported.

The flight crashed Sunday near Ramenskoe in Moscow's suburbs, according to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. Top Palestinian officials condemned the move, saying it disqualified the USA from playing the role of arbiter.

Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said any annexation would "destroy all efforts to try and save the peace process".

Trump White House has been less publicly critical of Israel's settlement building than previous administrations.

Starting bilateral talks with Abbas, Putin underlined "the depth and quality" of Russian-Palestinian ties, adding there is still much to be done.

Palestinians see the U.S. decision, which broke with years of worldwide diplomacy, as a denial of their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.

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