Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday in Russia and called for a resumption of the peace process with Israel.

“Regrettably, the situation in the region is not improving, and I am very happy to have the opportunity to meet with you and talk about how the situation is evolving and outline steps toward normalization,” said Putin, according to Russia Today.

“Of course, we would very much like the peace process to resume. I know there are many difficulties here,” he added.

Abbas called the summit a “meeting of two friends.”

He also indicated an interest in improving bilateral relations. “This is an addition to the other issues of the regional agenda which is currently a priority for us, and our neighbors, and other countries.”

The meeting came as Israel continued its two-week-old campaign to locate three kidnapped teenagers in the West Bank. The IDF arrested 10 Palestinians overnight Wednesday-Thursday and searched 136 locations as part of the ongoing crackdown.