Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump offers condolences to Putin over plane crash

Trump offers condolences to Putin over plane crash

A senior official in the entourage of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who left for Russian Federation for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, responded to President Trump's interview with Israel Hayom.

The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, has said that he will no longer accept the U.S. as a mediator following the move.

Putin also commented that stability in the region is "far from what we want to see".

The White House also said the two leaders discussed North Korea's nuclear program, a topic not mentioned in the Kremlin's statement about the call.

Now the Moscow version: TASS reported that Putin said on Monday evening he had "just had a telephone conversation with his United States counterpart, Donald Trump".

"I just spoke with American President Trump", Putin told Abbas before continuing the talks behind closed doors. With regards to his controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Trump said, "I think they respect me and they accepted what I did". -Israeli relations are at an all-time high, he said, and the chance to make peace "will never happen after this". Top Palestinian officials condemned the move, saying it disqualified the USA from playing the role of arbiter. He has however noted that neither side appears to be "looking to make peace" since he officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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"I think both sides will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement", Trump added. India, which has been a champion of the Palestinian people's national aspirations, has built strong ties with Israel in recent years.

The UN has expressed concern at a United States decision to withhold more than half of a tranche of funding last month for an agency that supports Palestinian refugees.

However, Trump, despite being well aware of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, took the liberty of recognizing Jerusalem, a contested city that lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Israel's undivided capital. Last year Mr. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel; the Ramallah visit has come just weeks after his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, visited India.

Putin said Trump wished Abbas "all the best".

Palestine views the United States' decision as a rejection of East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

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