Russian Culture Days Kick Off in Palestinian Authority

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has attended a ceremony marking the beginning of Russian Culture Days in the Palestinian Authority.

“There is a huge number of people in Palestine who love the Russian language and culture, who know them very well… We should not waste such popular support,” Medinsky said on Wednesday as he attended the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition entitled “Russia’s Images” in Bethlehem, which Christians revere as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Palestinians treat Russia “uniquely well,” he said.

“We have never come here with fire and sword… Palestinians feel this, and we have good reasons to develop our ties,” he added.

A Russian-Palestinian working group has been created to develop bilateral cultural relations, Medinsky said.

Russia has agreed to help the Palestinians create their national library, as well as to accept more Palestinian students to study in Russian universities managed by the Russian Culture Ministry, he said.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Palestinian Authority as part of his Middle Eastern tour. He held talks with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas and visited Christian sites in the West Bank. The two leaders also took part in the opening ceremony of a Russian culture and science center in Bethlehem.

During his two-day tour, Putin also visited Israel, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and Jordan, where he held talks with King Abdullah II.

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