Medvedev reaffirms Moscow's commitment to independent Palestine
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President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. His comments come on his first-ever visit to the occupied territories where he held talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on peace talks with Israel.
The peace process stalled several months ago over the issue of continued settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The trip is a rare visit to the Middle East for Medvedev, who is accompanied by hundreds of Russian businessmen. On Wednesday, he is to hold similar talks with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman. He was also due to visit Israel but postponed the trip after a strike by employees from the Israeli foreign ministry.
Russia is one of the four members of the Middle East peace Quartet along with the US, the European Union and the United Nations. Moscow has traditionally competed with Washington for influence as a power broker in the region.
Medvedev's trip comes ahead of a Quartet meeting on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany next month, which is hoping to give fresh impetus to to peace negotiations.
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