Putin, Trump discuss Israel-Palestine peace process over phone call
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he had spoken to US President Donald Trump by telephone and discussed efforts to bridge differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Russian news agencies reported.
Putin was reported to have made the comments at the start of a meeting in Moscow with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
“I just had a phone conversation with the President of the United States of America, [Donald] Trump,” the Russian President said.
“Of course, we also talked about the Israeli-Palestinian settlement,” he said. Putin said Trump wished Abbas “all the best.”
He was also cited as saying that the situation in the region was a long way from the one Moscow wanted to see.
The same news agencies quoted Abbas as saying that the Palestinians could not accept the United States as the sole mediator in talks with Israel because of Washington’s behaviour.
This comes amid Israel’s plan to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that talks with the US has been on over the possibility of Israel annexing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, drew swift condemnation from Palestinian leaders.
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 also offered his Russian counterpart condolences for the fatal crash of a Russian passenger plane at the weekend, Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying.
All 71 people on board were killed. _ DNA India
THE VOICE TIMES
(With Reuters inputs)