Palestinian President Abbas set to meet with Putin in Moscow amid Gaza crisis

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit Moscow, Russian news media quoted the Palestinian envoy to Moscow as saying late on Monday.

“We are awaiting an official statement from the Kremlin, from the Russian side, about when the visit will take place,” Russia’s RBC news outlet said, citing Ambassador Abdel Hafiz Nofal as saying.

“An agreement has been reached that Mr. Abbas will come here to Moscow.”

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Separately, he told Russia’s state television that the two sides maintain “daily contacts.” On Monday, Israel imposed a total blockade of the Gaza Strip after an unprecedented weekend attack by the Militia group Hamas that has killed hundreds.

Russia, which has relationships with Arab countries, Iran and Hamas as well as with Israel, condemned violence against both sides and accused the United States of ignoring the need for an independent Palestinian state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last met with Abbas a year ago on the sidelines of a regional conference in Kazakhstan. Abbas last visited Russia two years ago, according to Russian media.

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