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Vladimir Putin to hold talks with Abbas today

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, May 15: Russian President Vladimir Putin will today hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The two sides will focus on reviving the dialogue in West Asia, which got stalled after the radical Hamas movement swept to power in the January general elections in Palestine and resumption financial aid to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

''The talks will take place at an extremely difficult and important time when joint efforts have to be intensified to prevent the situation in Palestinian territories, following this year's elections in Palestine and Israel, from degrading into an open confrontation,'' a Kremlin source told RIA Novosti news agency, ahead of the scheduled talks.

The source said financial aid to Palestine, where some employees have gone two months without wages, would be high on the agenda.

The US and EU have already suspended aid to the PNA, calling Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Israel has also stopped transferring tax receipts to the PNA, it collects on its behalf.

Russia has refused to label Hamas a terrorist organisation and last week provided 10 million dollars as emergency humanitarian aid to Palestine.

Russia invited a Hamas delegation in March and urged the radical Islamic group to recognise Israel, renounce violence and resume peace process.

UNI

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