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Palestinian Leader To Visit Moscow

30 January 2005 -- New Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas was expected to arrive later today in Moscow, where he is due to hold talks with Russian leaders on ways of moving forward the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Abbas, who is due to meet with President Vladimir Putin tomorrow, will be the first Palestinian leader to visit the Kremlin since the late Yasser Arafat came to the Russian capital in 2000.

Russia is member of the "Quartet" of Middle East mediators that also includes the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.

The Palestinian and Israeli sides yesterday said Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were planning to hold their first summit in February, in about two weeks, to discuss a resumption of the peace process.