Abbas sees peace role for Russia (BBC) 01/31/05 14:44 GMT)
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The new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has told Russian President
Vladimir Putin that Russia has a key role to play in the Middle East.
Mr Abbas, who met Mr Putin at the Kremlin on Monday, said there was
now an "historic chance" for peace.
Mr Putin said Moscow was ready to co-operate actively with Mr Abbas
in working to improve Palestinian-Israeli relations and bolster the
Russia has been involved with the EU, the UN and the US in peace
"There is no doubt Russia´s presence on our side, our co-operation on
a bilateral basis, its role in the mediating quartet will be decisive
in establishing peace in the Middle East," Mr Abbas said, according
to Itar-Tass news agency.
Mr Abbas was elected as the new Palestinian president earlier this
His visit to Moscow is part of his drive to build international
support for his efforts to re-invigorate the Middle East peace
The Palestinian leader knows Russia well - he was a student there and
speaks the language. (© BBC MMV 01/31/05)
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