Abbas gets Moscow support as PM stresses ”resistance” right
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged his support for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday as "the lawful leader of all Palestinians" as key talks started in Moscow. Abbas arrived Sunday for three days of negotiations he hopes will win the support of Russia in a dispute between his Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip.
"We firmly support you as the lawful leader of all Palestinians and support all your efforts directed at... the achievement of unity among Palestinians," Lavrov said, according to AFP. "We are discussing the question of providing support to the Palestinian people and to your administration," he said.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Palestinians have a legitimate right to resist Israeli occupation, even if the phrase is not included in the new government program. "We are certainly an occupied people and resistance is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people as an occupied people," Fayyad told reporters in Cairo on Monday.
Fayyad clarified that his government's platform aims to support Palestinian "steadfastness" and that resistance would not always be the same as armed struggle. Resistance, in essence, begins "by exerting every possible effort to ... reinforce the steadfastness of the Palestinian citizen on his land," he said.