Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hoped talks with Israel would be renewed within the next year, but harbored few illusions it would actually happen.
Speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin outside Moscow, Abbas said he wanted to see the realization of a two-state solution.
“We… hope that substantive peace talks will start this year, although the hopes are probably not very high,” Abbas said, according to Reuters. “We hope that in the end we will reach a political solution based on the two-state principle.”
Talks with Israel have been frozen since briefly resuming in 2010 at the tail end of a 10-month settlement moratorium. Abbas has demanded another settlement freeze as a precondition for high-level talks, while Israel maintains it is ready to begin negotiations immediately.
Abbas’s statement came days before US President Barack Obama is to visit the region, which, some estimated, may jump-start peace talks.
The White House has attempted to downplay those claims recently, saying that the trip is mostly a listening tour and no peace plan will be put on the table.
In Russia for a state visit, Abbas said resuming the talks would take much groundwork.
“We will need major efforts to resume serious and substantive process on the basis of the decisions approved by the international law and the Arab peace initiative,” he said after the meeting, referring to a 2002 Saudi plan that would have normalized Arab relations with Israel in exchange for a pull back to the 1967 lines and the absorption of Palestinian refugees.