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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Bold Initiative or a Quest for Lost Prestige?

What the Middle East newspapers said in their editorials about President Vladimir Putin's visit to the Middle East and his proposal to hold a peace conference in Moscow:

Jerusalem Post Israel

Putin's arrival in Israel justifies the journalistic cliche that the greatest importance of the visit is that it is taking place. None of his predecessors ever saw fit to visit. ... [Putin's decision is] very welcome, a sign of hope and the breaking of a traditional Moscow foreign-policy mold. ...

Why is he veering from what had become Kremlin custom? Putin has image problems of sufficient severity to do him and his government real harm. ... His crackdown on Russia's new economic oligarchs, many of whom are Jewish, has earned him bad press abroad. His dedication to true democracy is questioned, and he is even charged with anti-Semitism. A facade of friendly handshakes may help reduce some of the criticism and apprehensions in the West about Russia's renascent superpower ambitions.

Yediot Aharonot Israel

The state of Israel welcomes you [Putin] and opens its heart before you. We know how to appreciate the step you have taken by coming to us and sadly contemplate the opportunity missed by your predecessors, who never arrived here. It is better late than never. We believe and hope that while you are among us, you will learn about our state and about our dream of peace with our neighbors -- those for which your country was once their patron. We shake your hand warmly and hope for the best.

Al-Quds Palestinian territory

Putin's visit to the region ... is a steady proof of Russia's interest in playing a major role in the peace process. Undoubtedly, the visit will contribute to enhancing the Russian role in the peace process and strengthening the relationship with the Arab world, which is trying to look for a kind of international balance in an age of a single, dominating superpower.

Al-Akhbar Egypt

As usual, the Palestinians have welcomed the proposal by Putin on the holding of a peace conference on the Middle East ... in Moscow. As usual, Israel has also tried to melt its response by taking a middle ground in order to get the chance to reject or accept it in future. ... However, the United States, the main sponsor of the Middle East peace process and the world's dictator, was clearer than its stepchild [Israel] by announcing its rejection of the plans.

Al-Jazirah Saudi Arabia

Putin's visit to Egypt brought back memories of the prestige of the former Soviet Union and its influence on all issues in the region, including the Palestinian one. ... Those who are not happy about this idea acted quickly, hence the prompt U.S. and Israeli rejection of Putin's call.

Al-Watan Saudi Arabia

Washington's reservations about Putin's call for an international peace conference on the Middle East do not come out of the blue. America is afraid that the Russian move is a counterattack launched by Russian diplomacy to restore some international balance in international relations that would serve Russia's national interests. ... The U.S.-Israeli rejection of Putin's call for a peace conference in Russia comes as an attempt to stop the Russian counterattack ... and prevents Russia from realizing a political victory, which could restore the prestige of the former Soviet Union.