Putin and Netanyahu
Putin and NetanyahuIsraeli Embassy in Russia/ Flash 90

Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke last night (Friday) with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, regarding the possibility of renewing contact with the "Palestinians," with Russian mediation.

This report was received from the Kremlin spokesperson.

According to the report, the two agreed to continue to discuss the possibility of gathering a summit of leaders in Moscow, and agreed to continue to work together to overcome the challenges facing the two nations, on a local level.

The prime minister's office has not yet published a response or report on the issue.

It is worthwhile to note that lately, the Russians have been working on a series of communication exercises, meant to try to pressure Israel and the Palestiniains into holding a meeting between Abu Mazen and Netanyahu. This meeting, if negotiated by Russia, would increase Russia's authority in the Middle East.

According to the report, the two leaders [Netanyahu and Abu Mazen] agreed to meet with each other, but no meeting was set. Abu Mazen detailed a long list of preconditions to peace talks, stating that without Israeli acquiescence to these conditions, he would not agree to the meeting.

Netanyahu refused to discuss any preconditions, stating that he will not agree to peace talks unless all preconditions are removed.

In the past few days, Russians have quoted several Arabs as saying that a meeting between Abu Mazen and Netanyahu would occur by the end of December. Jerusalem has not heard of any such plans.

The Arabs also claimed that, within the past few weeks, summit meetings were scheduled and later canceled. Most of these claims raised chuckles from the Israeli side, which has not heard of any serious reports about the meeting in Moscow.

For now, it is estimated that neither side is interested in renewing contact, unless it is clear that the meetings will be productive. However, both sides have expressed willingness to make peace, so as not to draw international ire by appearing to oppose peace.