Russian envoy to meet Netanyahu, discuss peace

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister scheduled to meet Netanyahu and discuss possible meeting with Abbas.

Elad Benari ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, i24news reports.

The top issue on the agenda is a proposed meeting in Moscow between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The proposed meeting comes as Russia continues to expand its role in the Middle East, noted i24news. Bogdanov met Abbas in Amman, Jordan last August, where according to Palestinian sources he discussed the proposed meeting and Abbas did not object to the idea.

Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Al-Madani said, according to the report, "No official date for a meeting has been set”, adding, "President Putin is taking serious steps to close the gap between us and the Israelis."

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently said Putin wanted to host an Israeli-Palestinian summit to revive peace talks that have been stalled since 2014.

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.

Madani said, according to i24news, the proposed meeting may take place at the end of September or mid-October. Madani also said Palestinian delegations involved in the preparation for this meeting “are working on ways to see how this meeting can be successful.”

"If the meeting will be like previous ones which did not produce real results, then there is no need for it," Madani he added.

Channel 10 News reported last week that Israel had actually agreed to a three-way peace summit with the United States and the PA, but the PA preconditioned such a summit taking place on Israel ceasing construction in Judea and Samaria and releasing additional terrorist prisoners.

The PA chairman has also insisted that any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear timeframe and under international supervision.

Madani, however, said the PA has no preconditions for attending a meeting hosted by Putin or any other direct meetings with the Israeli side.