Russia’s Medvedev, Israel’s Netanyahu to discuss Mid-East settlement…

Benjamin Netanyahu

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to discuss Palestinian-Israeli settlement issues and the ongoing campaign in Libya, the Kremlin press service said in a statement on Wednesday.

The meeting agenda is set to cover issues on Middle East settlement, including the restart of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and “the other acute international and regional issues” like the current situation in Libya and Egypt, the statement said.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently on his official visit to Moscow said that he did not mind meeting with Netanyahu and called on the Middle East Quartet mediators- the United States, the European Union and the United Nations – to make constructive solutions in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have, however, met three times since talks officially came to a halt in September 2010, just a few weeks after resuming in Washington following a 20-month break. Abbas withdrew from the talks after Israel refused to prolong a moratorium on the construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank, which expired in late September last year. The Israelis maintain that the settlement issue is not an obstacle to negotiations.

Netanyahu’s spokesman, Alex Selsky said the visit to Russia could be postponed because of Wednesday’s blast in Jerusalem that killed at least two and injured 25. He, however, ruled out a cancellation of the visit.


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