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|Thursday, September 06, 2001, updated at 07:48(GMT+8)|
Arafat, Putin Hold Phone Talks Over Mideast SituationPalestinian leader Yasser Arafat Wednesday received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the latest development of the tragic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The two leaders also talked about the result of the talks between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is now in Moscow on a visit, the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported.
Arafat briefed the Russian president on the grave situation in the region under the escalating Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the international efforts to stop the aggression, WAFA said.
For his part, Putin said "The Russian efforts to restore peace and stability in the region will continue," adding that "Russia will continue its support for the Palestinian people till they regain their national legitimate rights."
Sharon has reportedly asked Putin to urge Arafat to help stop the Palestinian intifada (uprising) against Israeli occupation.
Also on Wednesday, Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero told reporters that "Rome and Moscow are trying to arrange a meeting between Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres."
"We are doing our best to arrange the meeting and we hope it will be successful," he added.
Meanwhile, Arafat's adviser Nabil Abu-Rudeina said on Wednesday that "Arafat told (European Union foreign policy chief Javier) Solana on Tuesday that he will inform him of the definite date of the proposed Arafat-Peres meeting on Sunday after the Arab foreign ministers' meeting."
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