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Meeting with President of Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas

January 20, 2012, Gorki, Moscow Region

Dmitry Medvedev and Mahmoud Abbas discussed the prospects for developing bilateral relations and examined current issues on the regional agenda.

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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. I am happy to see you again and hope to discuss with you all of the different aspects of our cooperation.

The biggest issue is of course Palestinian-Israeli settlement, but I hope we will have the chance to discuss other regional issues too. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of problems in the region today.

Mr President, you and I meet quite often and I keep in my memory the time I have spent in your country and visiting the historical sites there. It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on receiving the Patriarch Alexii II Prize as a prominent political figure. This is symbolic of the way our relations are developing, symbolic of the friendship between our countries, and of course recognises your contribution to these various processes. This creates an added pleasant reason for your visit. I am very happy to see you.

President of The Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas (re-translated): Thank you, Mr President. It is always a pleasure to meet with you, whether in Moscow or in Palestine.

Mr President, I always say that your visit to Palestine, especially to Jericho, had particular significance because it was unique in character and substance compared to the visits other heads of state have made. Your visit made a big impression on Jericho’s residents. They were all very moved by the event and have decided to give your name to one of the city’s streets.

“The friendship between Russia and Palestine goes back not decades but centuries. We have an excellent level of relations between our two countries.”

We have many issues to discuss of course, above all matters concerning our bilateral relations, which continue their development, in part through your personal contribution and the personal attention you give to our ties.

The biggest issues on the agenda today include the state of the bilateral talks between Palestine and Israel. We always stress how much we rely on your advice and vision, and on what for us is Russia’s favourable approach and policy.

I think it is important to discuss the reconciliation process among the Palestinians themselves too, and the general situation in the Arab countries, which are traversing a critical period at the moment.

Mr President, the award of the Patriarch Alexii II Prize is a great honour for me, akin to a medal pinned to my breast. The award of this significant and influential prize will encourage me to continue developing our bilateral relations and deepening the dialogue of civilisations and cultures between our peoples.

A ceremony will soon take place to confer your name upon Jericho’s main street. I present to you this document from the municipal authorities as well as several photos of the street that will bear your name. 

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I see this gesture as a symbol of the friendship between Russia and Palestine that goes back not decades but centuries, given that it began back during the time of the Russian Empire, continued during the Soviet period, and continues today too. I think this is evidence of the excellent level of relations between our two countries. Once more, thank you very much.

January 20, 2012, Gorki, Moscow Region