Putin meets with Palestinian Authority leader in effort to boost Middle East ties

Putin meets with Palestinian Authority leader in effort to boost Middle East ties

Today, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The talks occur between Mr Putin’s meeting

Russian President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov and Palestinian President Abbas attend a meeting in Moscow

Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shipenkov

Today, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The talks occur between Mr Putin’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier this week and President Trump’s summit with Putin on Monday. With many doubting Washington’s ability to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, heads are now turning to Russia to take the reins. Indeed, Moscow seems well poised to do so after having maintained close ties with several countries in the region.

Relations between Russia and the Palestinian Authority have strengthened ever since Abbas visited Moscow in February, shortly after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem. With Trump showing no signs of relaxing his pro-Israel rhetoric, expect Abbas to continue to look towards Putin for mediation.

With an increased role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, expect Mr Putin to push hard for peace. If he succeeds, Russi would likely gain the trust of other Middle Eastern states, cementing its role as an unbiased mediator and significantly increasing its influence.

However, the same roadblocks which have prevented cooperation over past years remain today. Russia will need to capitalise on its balanced relations if it is to succeed where the US has failed.

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