Abbas hails Russia role in Middle East
The president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has lauded Russia's role in the Middle East, highlighting the significance of Moscow's "constant presence" for the Palestinians, Press TV reported.
Mahmoud Abbas made the comments in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the capital Moscow on Monday.
"Constant presence of Russia in the region is very important for us. So I suppose that it is very important for us to engage in consultations from time to time," the Palestinian leader said.
"There are many problems in our region on which Russia can work, and Russia's efforts are successful," Abbas added.
He further thanked Putin for his country's cooperation with Palestine and its efforts to solve the Palestinian crisis.
For his part, the Russian president appreciated the ties between the two states, saying, "It's a pleasure to note that relations between Palestine and Russia have been growing steadily and are constantly becoming stronger."
The two leaders also discussed the economic relations between Russia and Palestine among other issues.
Russia is among the countries that have pledged continued support for Palestinians' legitimate right to establish an independent state.
"We believe that Palestine's acquisition of national sovereignty on the common international legal base will be an important factor in ensuring comprehensive, just settlement in the Middle East," Putin said in a letter sent to Abbas in November 2014.
Later in the day, Abbas held a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, where the Russian premier reiterated his country's readiness to help implement social and economic reforms in Palestine in order to strengthen the establishment of the state.
"I would like to say that we maintain our solidarity with the people of Palestine on every position and we support their aspiration to strengthen the statehood of Palestine," Medvedev stated.
Some 135 governments have so far announced their official backing for Palestine's sovereignty. Parliaments in major European countries, including Spain, France, Britain, Ireland, and Portugal as well as the European Parliament have symbolically endorsed Palestine's bid to be recognized as a state.