Netanyahu, Putin Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Phone Call

Kremlin says Israeli premier initiated the call days after Egypt's Sissi said Moscow was willing to host Netanyahu-Abbas meeting.

Exchanging sweet nothing-muches? Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with Russian leader Vladiir Putin, at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, May 2013.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation night. A statement issued by the Kremlin said the call was initiated by Netanyahu and dealt with the peace process and other regional issues.

The conversation comes two days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said the Russian president was willing to host Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for direct talks in Moscow. Al-Sissi made the statement at a briefing for the editors of leading Egyptian newspapers.

“The Russian president has informed me that he has invited Palestinian President Abu Mazen and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for a meeting in Moscow,” Al-Sissi said, referring to Abbas by his nickname. “Egypt supports these efforts and both sides are urged to participate and respond positively to the initiative for the sake of finding light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians and establishing their state alongside Israel.”

The Egyptian president said “there is need for change, if there is a mutual desire by both sides, Israeli and Palestinian, as well as by the international community.”

He also said that Israel’s understanding of its own need for an agreement and its desire “to lead to a kind of break in the impasse” have both been growing, “and that’s a positive sign.”

Haaretz reported earlier this week that senior European officials have been trying unsuccessfully for several weeks to arrange such a meeting.