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Putin Offers Palestinians Equipment, Training to Maintain Order

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is offering Palestinians equipment and training to help security forces maintain order.

Mr. Putin said that Palestinian security forces need more resources to get the job done. He spoke at a joint news conference Friday in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the two men held talks.

For his part, Mr. Abbas said he welcomes the Russian leader's proposal for an international conference in Moscow to discuss peace for the Middle East.

Mr. Putin suggested the conference Wednesday in Egypt at the start of his three-day trip to the region. However, there is no indication he mentioned the idea when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday. Israel does not favor such a conference.

Mr. Putin is the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.