Russian President Vladimir Putin has successfully arranged for historic Israeli and Palestinian peace talks to commence in Russia.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in Moscow, in what would be their first meeting for many years.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova confirmed that an agreement had taken place on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
No date has been given for the meeting. “The most important thing is to pick the right timing,” Ms Zakharova added.
Mr Abbas and Mr Netanyahu exchanged a brief handshake at the global climate change conference in Paris last year, but have not held a public working meeting since 2010.
Mr Abbas said earlier this week that a meeting scheduled in Moscow had been postponed at Israel’s request.
Mr Abbas and Mr Netanyahu agree on hardly any issues, including the construction of Israeli settlements on land claimed by Palestinians, which means setting an agenda will be a difficult task. Any meeting at all is seen as progress, however, since US-brokered peace talks broke down in 2014.
The Moscow meeting points to Russia’s growing influence in Middle Eastern affairs.
President Vladimir Putin has been vocal in his support for President Bashar Assad in the five-year-long Syrian civil war.
The Russian military has aided the Syrian government by providing fighter jets to assist in the fight against various rebel groups since last September.