Erekat: Abbas willing to meet Netanyahu in Moscow

PLO Secretary-General says PA chairman is willing to attend a three-way peace summit in the Russian capital.

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Ben Ariel,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Amir Levy/Flash 90

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Saturday that Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is willing to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Moscow.

Several Israeli media outlets reported that Erekat claimed that Abbas had accepted an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three-way meeting between Putin, Netanyahu and Abbas.

That meeting, according to the PLO Secretary-General, was scheduled to take place in September but Netanyahu refused to attend and the meeting was postponed.

The comments come amid Russian efforts to resume stalled Israel-PA talks. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said several months ago that Putin wanted to host an Israeli-Palestinian summit to revive the talks.

Several days later, Netanyahu and Putin held a telephone conversation in which they discussed the peace process, among other things, though a Kremlin spokesman later clarified there was "nothing concrete" yet on a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu.

Most recently, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his country is waiting for Israeli and PA proposals on holding a direct meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, France is also pushing for a resumption of talks and is set to host an international peace conference in Paris on January 15.

Israel opposes the French initiative, explaining that the only way to reach a peace agreement is through direct talks with the PA, which the PA refuses, choosing instead to impose preconditions on talks.