Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Chechnya.
It was a rare visit by a foreign head of state to the capital of the troubled Russian region. He was greeted at the airport by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. A Kremlin spokesman confirmed that Abbas would shortly be leaving for Moscow where he is to hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The Chechen leader, a former rebel, now declares loyalty to Moscow but he is seen by his people as man who is dedicated to the revival of Islam and has met several influential Muslim leaders from Arab states. Abbas’s visit to Russia follows his talks with President George W Bush in Washington. Bush stressed the value of an irreversable, bilateral negotiation process and praised the Palestinian leader for the progress he has made on a path to peace with Israel, and his efforts in guiding his people toward the creation of a viable Palestinian state.