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Abbas turns to Russia

It seems Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is asking Russia to step up its role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the United States is slowly retreating from dealing with the region's issues.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made an official visit Sept. 22 to Moscow, where he met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. They discussed the regional situation, Middle East events and Russia's role in the peace process, as well as the latest developments in Jerusalem and continuous Israeli attacks against Islamic and Christian holy sites.

Al-Monitor learned from an official who was part of the delegation accompanying Abbas that the president had a busy schedule during his visit. In addition to meeting with Putin, he met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church; and Sheikh Rawi Ain Eddine, the head of the Russian Iftaa Council. Abbas also visited the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, and he met with Sergei Stepashin, chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, in addition to meeting with Arab ambassadors in Moscow.

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