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Jan-19-2011 03:14printcomments

Russian President Confirms Support for a Free Palestine

The Russian President confirms his intention to host an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Russia's President traveled to Palestine to reaffirm support for the right of the Palestinians to establish their own territorially unified and indivisible state.

Talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho are said to have gone well. The President's press office reports that the discussion centered around Middle East settlement.

During a news conference following the talks, Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed Russia's support for peace in Palestine and said international and regional organisations should be used more actively to move the process forward.

President Dmitry Medvedev stated in a Twitter message late Wednesday night: "Russia is loved in Palestine. It was good to get such a genuine welcome on the streets of the ancient city of Jericho. This land needs peace."

The Russian President confirms his intention to host an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow.

Mr Medvedev said that the international legal framework required for tangible results in addressing the Middle East conflict is already in place, "The prospects for the conference will become clear following the upcoming meeting of the Middle East Quartet in Munich."

Map showing states which have recognised or have special diplomatic arrangements with
the State of Palestine or some other Palestinian delegation. Courtesy: Wikipedia

The International Middle East Media Center reports:

In remarks made to the state-run news wire Wafa, Abbas said, “We consider this visit by the president of the Russian Federation a historic one by all measures, as a laurel crowning the heads of the Palestinian people. We are honored and grateful to receive the Russian president here, as an expression of Palestinian-Russian friendship and a confirmation of the depth of the relationship between the Palestinian and Russian peoples.”

A number of joint documents were signed following the Russian-Palestinian talks.

It is important to note that Russia already recognizes a Palestinian state based on the borders that existed in until the Six Day War in 1967. However, this recognition dates from 1988 when it was part of the now-defunct Soviet Union.

Israel's Ha’aretz reports that officials there are particularly concerned about this development as Russia is a member of the Quartet; the Israel-Palestine negotiating body responsible for 2002 so-called Roadmap to Peace.

Ha’aretz stated:

The strike spared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the need to sweat through a meeting with his Russian counterpart and try to dismiss Russia's promise to recognize an independent Palestine. It also spared Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman the questionable pleasure of having to explain how his "special ties" and common language with the Russians accords with the public slap in the face that Moscow gave Israel.

Obama and Medvedev: Square off over Palestine?

The Ha’aretz article touches on some interesting aspects of this developing story. Many are wondering if Medvedev was sending a message to U.S. President Barack Obama in declaring his support for Palestine.

An answer could be at hand in the coming days when the U.S. will again stand at the crossroads in deciding whether to veto a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israel's settlement policy.

The Ha’aretz article indulged one other topic that few Israeli's are anxious to open up:

It was just a matter of time before the epidemic of recognizing Palestine within the 1967 borders went beyond the borders of Latin America. The only question was which country would be the first to join Brazil and its neighbors.

Now, the question is which will be the first European Union country to follow suit. Will it be Spain, France, Cyprus or Malta?

President Medvedev will not travel to Israel because of a strike at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Extreme right-wing Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is reportedly to be furious with his employees over the embarrassment.


Russian President Executive Office

President Medvedev to Confirm Russian Recognition of Palestine - IMEMC

Even Lieberman's 'special ties' couldn't save Israel from Russia's slap in the face


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