Putin to host Palestinian leader as Russia touts peacemaker role

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for talks on achieving a peace settlement with Israel, as Russia tries to promote itself increasingly as a peacemaker in international conflicts.

Putin met Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu exactly two weeks ago in Moscow. Russia has managed to maintain robust relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority government, as well as Israeli rivals Syria and Iran.
Abbas said last week that he hoped Russia could assume a greater role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying the United States "can no longer play a leading role."
US President Donald Trump upended decades of US policy when he announced two months ago that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Outraged Palestinians saw Trump's move as endorsing Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, which they claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Russia, along with Iran and Turkey, has also been brokering peace talks between the government in Syria and the opposition.

Monday, February 12th 2018

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