Dmitry Medvedev To Arrive in the Palestinian Territories In a “Historic State Visit”
Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said that the aim of the visit is to intensify the efforts to stabilize the situation in the region in order for peace to be achieved.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will receive his Russian counterpart in Jericho where they are expected to hold a press conference.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat considers that the visit Medvedev is paying to Palestinian Authority is a very important “state visit,” sanding out the message that Palestine is ready for statehood and independence.
Erekat exposed the highlights of the visit by saying that, while in the Palestinian territories, the two leaders will address the settlements in the Middle East, the prospect of organizing a peace conference on Middle East in Russia, the situation in Gaza Strip, the restoration of unity among Palestinians.
Medvedev’s tour was supposed to start with a visit to Israel, but the Israeli part was cancelled due to a strike at the Israeli Foreign Minister, which rendered diplomacy incapable to organize the visit.
The president of Israel Shimon Peres discussed the situation over phone with the Russian counterpart, apologizing for the predicament. Medvedev agreed to meet Peres in Davos, at the World Economic Forum.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his assuredness that the visit to the Palestinian Authority was not a means to retaliate for the failure of the visit to Israel, as it had been speculated in some circles.
While in Palestinian territory, Medvedev will sign three agreements: on agriculture, communication, and sports, and then he will inaugurate an art museum at Jericho.
Russia was one of the first states to recognize the Palestinian state, which has full representation in Moscow, and is considered one of the most important supporters of Palestinian aspirations for independence.
Russia promised an economic support of $30 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian Authority.
The primary goal of Medvedev is to foster the contact between the ministerial Quarter of International Mediators – Russia, the United States, European Union and the United Nations – and Israel and Palestine to the purpose of reviving talks.
That is why he insisted on the internal reconciliation among Palestinian political factions, so that they may a credible partner for Israel.11