Putin arrives in West Bank for talks with Mahmoud Abbas

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) arrives in the West Bank to hold a meeting with acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (L), June 26, 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) arrives in the West Bank to hold a meeting with acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (L), June 26, 2012.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the West Bank on a rare visit to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Putin arrived in Bethlehem on Tuesday, and is set to meet with acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas later on the day.

On arrival, the Russian president paid a visit to the Church of Nativity.

Putin’s visit to the West Bank comes after he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Monday.

Direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials have been on hold since late September 2010.

Russia along with other members of the so-called Middle East Quartet, including the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, have sought to bring the sides back to the negotiations.

Palestinians, however, say they will not hold new talks unless the Tel Aviv regime freezes its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian lands.

SAB/HJL

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