Palestine Appreciates Russia's Role in the Middle East

“Russia's role in the Middle East is extremely important and useful, and we, the Palestinians, welcome its increasing importance", said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to E.V. Suponina, Adviser Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, in the course of detailed discussion on current international topics. The meeting was held in the office of the Palestinian President in Ramallah on the West Bank of Jordan.
Adviser RISS Director E. Suponina and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Adviser RISS Director E. Suponina and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

E.V. Suponina, Adviser Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, visited Palestine in the delegation that arrived to participate in the work of the Intergovernmental Russian-Palestinian Commission for trade-economic cooperation. It was established a year ago, and now, in mid-March 2016, held its first meeting. It was also attended by the ambassadors of Russia and Palestine, A.N. Rudakov and A. Nofal respectively.

The head of the Russian delegation, Maksim Topilin, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, held talks in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and other officials. Both parties are aimed at development of economic and trade cooperation and strengthening of ties in the fields of culture, tourism and education.

The visit also featured numerous contacts between representatives of various ministries and departments of Russia with their Palestinian counterparts. Ministers of Labor of Russia and Palestine – Maksim Topilin and Mamoun Abu Shahla – signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of labor and employment. In particular, Russia is ready to assist the Palestinians in addressing the problem of unemployment and in developing of social protection programs.

E.V. Suponina, Adviser Director of RISS, was received for an exchange of views by the representatives of the Palestinian leadership, including General Majid Faraj, Head of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, Ahmad Majdalani, Adviser on Syria of the President of Palestine, and Muhammad Mustafa, President of the Palestinian Investment Fund. All of the parties noted the importance of the active role of Russia in resolving the crisis in Syria and the need to continue the mediation efforts of our country in the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The new options of interaction were discussed with Nabeel Kassis, Director of the Institute of Economic Research of Palestine, especially given that Cooperation Agreement has been entered into between RISS and the Institute of Economic Research of Palestine in 2014. In early March 2015, L.P. Reshetnikov, Director of the RISS, who visited Palestine, spoke before the employees of the Institute in Ramallah.

During her stay in Ramallah, E.V. Suponina met with representatives of the local Christians. The meeting was attended by the abbots of both Orthodox and Catholic temples. They noted a large degree of support from the Administration of the Palestine President and expressed a desire to develop closer ties with Russia.