Netanyahu 'always ready' for peace talks with Palestinian leaders

The peace talks, proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, could become the first between Israel and the Palestinian Authority since 2014.

Susan Walsh/AP/File
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, listened to remarks at the White House in 2010.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin to host talks in Moscow between the Israeli leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu's office said on Monday.

It said in a statement Netanyahu, at a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, "presented Israel's position whereby he is always ready to meet (Abbas) without preconditions and is therefore considering the Russian president's proposal and the timing for a possible meeting."

A spokesman for Abbas, who is on a visit to Europe, declined immediate comment.

The last Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

With his eye on shifting big-power influence in the Middle East, Netanyahu has visited Russia for talks with Putin three times in the last year, and the two also speak on occasion by phone to discuss regional issues.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Luke Baker)

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