Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas
22 december 2008
Transcript of the start of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I'm happy to see you. We are closely following events in Palestine, rejoicing at your successes, and sharing your difficulties. The situation in the region remains complicated and we are aware of this, but we will continue to develop relations with Palestine in all directions, as we have in previous years.
We are happy to see you, and welcome you.
Mahmoud Abbas (as translated): Many thanks, Mr Prime Minister. We are also very happy to see you, and to visit the Russian Federation. We are hoping to exchange opinions with you about the current political situation on questions of mutual interest.
We would also like to thank you for Russia's firm and continuous support of Palestine.
We would like to thank you for the political, economic, and security assistance Russia has given to us.
As you quite rightly pointed out, we are going through rough times now, but we are still hoping to reach settlement and are doing what we can for this. However, there are some obstacles blocking the road to this goal. I am referring to the forthcoming elections in Israel, and the recent elections in the United States, which brought a new president to power.