Russian President Vladimir Putin described Israel's settlement policy as "wrong" during a major speech on Friday and called on Israel to halt its settlement policy, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
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Putin's policy address, at an annual gathering of Russia experts known as the Valdai Club, was widely covered by the Western press due to the vehemence of his remarks regarding the United States. But his words about Israel went largely unreported.
According to KUNA, the Russian leader said that Israeli settlements represent an obstacle to the normalization of relations with the Palestinians and expressed hope that all parties would return to the negotiating process.
The conflict in the Middle East is a "major cause of tension, not only in the region but in the whole world," Putin reportedly said. He added that the "humiliation of the Palestinian people and any other people is a source of danger and instability and must be removed with all means and ways acceptable to all parties."
At the same time, he noted that relations between Russia and Israel had leapt ahead over the past 10 years, KUNA said.