Putin calls on Abbas to form efficient Palestinian gov’t

AMMAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called here on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abide by the Mecca agreements and form an efficient Palestinian government.     During a meeting with Abbas at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport, Putin welcomed the Mecca agreements and expressed hopes that the agreements will bring results and promote “formation of an efficient Palestinian government so that an appropriate climate could be established for the lifting of the siege against the Palestinians and for the opening of final status negotiations with the Israelis.”

    “The achievement of these goals will create conditions for the lift of the blockade and further steps towards comprehensive settlement of the relations with Israel,” he added.

    “However, that would require the fulfillment of the agreements on Palestinian lands and the creation of conditions for further steps in settling relations with Israel. The return of the captured Israeli soldier would be important in this respect,” he said.

    Putin reiterated that Russia will keep working for the Mideast settlement and “continue to do the same with due account of its special relations with Arab countries and Palestinians.”

    For his part, Abbas, who arrived Amman on Sunday for a series of meetings with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Russian President Putin, said that the Palestinian government will “ensure the resignation of the present Prime Minister Ismail Haneya’s government within two or three days and instruct the premier to form a new government on the agreed principles if nothing unexpected happens.”

    He said the signing of the Mecca agreements is a very important step, as “it brings the entire process onto the right track.”

    Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement in Saudi city of Mecca last Thursday on forming a new coalition government.

    The movements also agreed to end months of internal fighting which had killed dozens since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for earlier elections in December, 2006.

    Putin arrived in Jordan Monday night on the final leg of his regional tour.


    Putin arrives in Jordan for talks with Abdullah, Abbas

    AMMAN, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Amman late on Monday on a two-day official visit to Jordan, during which he will hold talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Putin’s talks with Abdullah and Abbas, who is currently on a visit here, are expected to discuss means on pushing forward the Middle East peace process.

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