Abbas seeks Russia and China's help in peace process

PA chairman sends delegations to China and Russia to ask them to take a greater role in the peace process.

Elad Benari,

Putin and Abbas
Putin and Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has sent delegations to China and Russia to ask them to take a greater role in the peace process with Israel, an official said on Tuesday, according to AFP.

Abbas has said the United States can no longer be a mediator in talks, following President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Saleh Raafat, a member of the Palestinian delegation visiting Russia, said on Tuesday the PA chairman had tasked the delegates with pushing Chinese and Russian leaders to back peace talks.

"We are now in Russia, and some of us will go to Beijing to deliver the same message on the importance of seeking international sponsorship for the peace process under the banner of the United Nations," Raafat told AFP by phone from Moscow.

On Monday, Russia’s deputy UN envoy Vladimir Safronkov said his country is ready to become an “honest mediator”, as he put it, in the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

Peace talks between Israel and the PA have been frozen since they collapsed in 2014, when the PA unilaterally applied to join international institutions in breach of the conditions of the talks.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said earlier this year that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to host an Israeli-Palestinian summit to revive the talks.

Several days later, Prime Minister Binyamin 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 Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu.

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