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Palestinian leader backs Russia’s airstrikes in Syria

February 05, 18:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Mahmoud Abbas backs the need to step up efforts on the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

© EPA/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has voiced his strong support for Russia’s airstrikes in Syria, Russia’s upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Friday.

At the meeting on Thursday, Abbas "unambiguously and firmly expressed his support for Russia’s actions in Syria," Matviyenko said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

The Federation Council speaker said Abbas backs the need to step up efforts on the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups. "Here we have no differences," she said.

Abbas also said Russia has come back to the Middle East and this creates "certain balance" in the region and no imbalance will be allowed, Matviyenko said.

On February 2-4, the delegation of Russia’s upper house of parliament paid an official visit to Israel and a working visit to Palestine. On Wednesday, Matviyenko held talks with Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, the speaker of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

"Israel, like Russia, knows firsthand what terrorism means," she added.

"Of course, they understand the importance of the fight against terrorism and Russia’s participation in the fight against terrorism," Matviyenko said, adding that Palestine and Israel have their own opinion on this fight.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces have been conducting an operation in Syria against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups since September 30, 2015 at the request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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