Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas expressed their hope that the conflict situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will not turn into a large-scale Palestinian-Israeli confrontation, the Kremlin reported on Monday, March 18. april.
In a statement, the Kremlin reported that the two leaders had a telephone conversation in which they discussed the recent escalation of tensions in the occupied West Bank.
“The importance of restarting direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel under the auspices of the quartet of international mediators was underlined,” the Kremlin said.
The Quartet on the Middle East was established in Madrid in 2002 and is made up of the UN, the EU, the US and Russia.
See also: Israeli security forces and settlers stormed Al Aqsa Mosque compound again
Putin and Abbas also discussed bilateral cooperation in trade and economy, reiterating the commitment of both nations for further development of ties.
The Russian President also discussed the situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Putin and Tebboune stressed the importance of stepping up international efforts to find a solution in the Middle East.
The Israeli army has carried out various arrest campaigns in Palestinian cities in recent days, which has triggered clashes.
Tension has risen in the occupied Palestinian territories since Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard last Friday, clashing with worshipers and injuring hundreds.
On Sunday, more than 700 Israeli settlers forced their way into the compound to celebrate Passover.
Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two ancient Jewish temples.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
*Translated by Daniel Gallego.
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