Al Jazeera reports: Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed “in principle” to meet in Moscow in what Russia hopes will relaunch Middle East peace talks after more than two years’ break, according to the Russian foreign ministry.
While it is not clear when the meeting will take place, Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on Thursday Moscow had heard from the offices of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the two agreed to meet in the Russian capital.
“The leaders of Palestine and Israel have given their general consent to meet in Russia,” Zakharova told reporters.
“The most important thing is to pick the right timing,” she added. “Intensive contacts on this are ongoing.”
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Jamjoom, reporting from Moscow, said the Russian statement “hardly sounded like a sure thing at this point”, highlighting a comment by a Kremlin spokesperson on Wednesday saying that a meeting between the two sides was “not on the schedule and not on the agenda”.
Earlier this week, Abbas said a scheduled meeting in Moscow had been postponed at Israel’s request.
Abbas has said that he would only meet Netanyahu if Israel freezes settlement construction on occupied lands and carries out a previously agreed-on release of Palestinian prisoners. [Continue reading…]