Ahead of visiting Russia, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said Russia remains a major player in the peace process between Palestine and Israel.
"Historically, Russia has been playing an important role in supporting the Palestinian problem. A further increase of this role has vast prospects, since it can accelerate the guaranteed, fair and balanced political settlement," Xinhua quoted Abbas as saying Tuesday ahead of his visit to Russia Thursday.
Palestine is aware of Russia's role and political weight in helping "forge a fair and lasting solution" to the Palestine-Israel issue, Abbas said, adding that Palestine wants to maintain contact with President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership.
"The United States has been engaged in the Palestine-Israel talks from the start and we hope the US role will be efficient and balanced. At the same time, we would like the other parties like Russia, the European Union, China and the UN to play an influential role in these talks," Abbas said.
"Russia has been a source of diversified political, economic and diplomatic assistance ... It has been supporting our struggle and our efforts to put an end to the occupation and to form an independent Palestinian state," he added.