15 Apr 2018 19:55

Bogdanov, Abbas discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace process ahead of LAS summit

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) - The Russian president's special representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

"During the candid conversation the main focus was on the prospects of advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Given the dangerous escalation on Palestinian territories, primarily in the Gaza Strip, and against the backdrop of U.S. unilateral steps on Jerusalem and the continued Israeli settlement, a position of solidarity was expressed in favor of swiftly establishing a steady negotiating political process on the known basis of international law," the ministry stated.

The meeting was held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on April 14, on the eve of the opening of the 29th summit of the Arab League.

The parties "discussed in detail the task of restoring Palestinian national unity on the political platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem, which would live in peace and safety with its neighbors, including Israel," the statement said.

Bogdanov and Abbas also touched on several practical matters of further development of the traditionally friendly Russian-Palestinian relations, including maintaining the active political dialogue and boosting the economic and humanitarian ties, the ministry said.

Bogdanov also met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun before the summit.

"In the course of exchanging views on the developments in Lebanon and in the Middle East in general, the Russian side expressed support for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Lebanese Republic," the ministry said.

"A hope was expressed that the results of Lebanese parliamentary elections due on May 6 this year will help strengthen stability in this multi-religious country fully in accordance with the genuine interests of all its citizens," the ministry said.