MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is offering to host peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in his latest effort to become the Middle East’s top power broker.
Following Putin’s recent meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, Putin posed the idea first to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and talked with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone on Monday.
“The Russian president has informed me that he has invited Palestinian President Abu Mazen and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for a meeting in Moscow,” Sissi said, calling Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas by his nickname. “Egypt supports these efforts and both sides are urged to participate and respond positively to the initiative for the sake of finding light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians and establishing their state alongside Israel.”
Sissi continued “there is need for change, if there is a mutual desire by both sides, Israeli and Palestinian, as well as by the international community.”
The Egyptian president praised Netanyahu for his growing interest in moving toward peace talks after a long resistance. “That’s a positive sign,” he said.