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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Talks to Barak

President Vladimir Putin discussed the Middle East peace process in a telephone conversation Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a Kremlin statement said.

Putin briefed Barak about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat?s visit to Russia last week. Arafat has given conflicting signals on whether he will proclaim statehood Sept. 13, the deadline for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Russia has said it would back independence, but has urged Arafat against making any unilateral declaration. Putin reiterated during the phone call Tuesday that both sides should continue negotiations, according to the statement.