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Formula for Mideast peace talks not in sight - Abbas

RIA Novosti


SOCHI, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - A solution to the Middle East conflict has yet to be found, PNA leader Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday.

Abbas, who is currently on a three-day visit to Russia, is meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in the southern Russian city of Sochi. The previous meeting between the two leaders was held in Moscow in April 2009.

"The Middle East political process is ongoing and it has a long history. Unfortunately, a formula that will break the current deadlock has yet to be found," he said during a meeting with the Russian president.

Speaking on the PNA's relations with Israel, Abbas said they "encompass a host of issues," adding that cooperation was "normal" in such areas as security and the economy.

He said he would also like to address the internal Palestinian situation with the Russian president, among other things.

The talks focused on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have seen a lack of progress due to the Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Russia, along with the UN, the United States and European Union, is part of the Middle East Quartet of intermediaries for peace efforts.

Under an international roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is to freeze all settlement construction activity and remove outposts built since 2001.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in late November that construction would be limited in the occupied West Bank, but not in East Jerusalem. He also said it would resume in the future.

Medvedev and Abbas were also expected to discuss bilateral cooperation aimed at creating effective state institutions and overcoming acute humanitarian, social and economic problems, as well as inter-Palestinian unity.

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