Abbas, Putin discuss Israeli-Palestinian dispute over phone

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Israel’s economic and security steps cannot be an alternative to a political track.

During a phone conversation on Thursday, Abbas and Putin exchanged congratulations on the occasion of Christmas and New Year holidays, wishing peace and stability would prevail in the region and the world, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted an official statement as saying.

The two leaders discussed the latest developments related to the Palestinian cause, it said.

“Amid the absence of a political track, the Israeli rejection of the two-state solution, continuing to stifle the Palestinian economy, and cutting tax revenue dues, decisive Palestinian decisions will be taken in this regard,” the Palestinian President told his Russian counterpart.

Abbas stressed the need for a political track based on international resolutions and holding a meeting of the International Quartet, which comprises Russia, the US, European Union and the United Nations at the ministerial level, Xinhua news agency reported.

He also underscored the importance of stopping the unilateral Israeli measures, mainly building settlements, confiscating Palestinian land, demolishing homes and deporting Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian President warned that the continuation of such Israeli measures will lead to unexpected tensions in the region.

The phone talk between Putin and Abbas came after the latter met with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday evening near Tel Aviv, during which they discussed security and civil issues.

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