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Palestinian leader Abbas tells Putin he wants U.S. peace role diluted - Ifax

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shipenkov/Pool


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday he could no longer accept the role of the United States as a mediator in talks with Israel because of Washington's behaviour, the Interfax news agency reported.

"We state that from now on we refuse to cooperate in any form with the U.S. in its status of a mediator, as we stand against its actions," Abbas told Putin at the start of talks in Moscow.

Abbas was quoted as saying he wanted an expanded new mediation mechanism to replace the Middle East Quartet.

"For instance, 'the quartet' plus some other countries like the model used to achieve the deal on Iran," Abbas said, referring to international talks about Tehran's nuclear programme.

Abbas and his allies were left furious in December when U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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