Putin 'at loss' after Bethlehem street named for him

Posted at 06/27/2012 10:33 AM | Updated as of 06/27/2012 10:34 AM

DEAD SEA, Jordan - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he was "at a bit of a loss" that a street was named after him in Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.

Putin spoke in Jordan as he wrapped up his Middle East tour, which included a stop in Bethlehem in the West Bank and talks with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas who ordered a street to be named after his guest.

"I would like to live a bit longer," Putin quipped, referring to a European tradition according to which streets are named after the deceased.

"It was absolutely unexpected to me," he told reporters in the Jordan Valley, the last stop of his two-day tour, which included a visit to Israel and talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"To be honest, I am at a bit of a loss but there's nothing you could do," he said, indicating he did not want to protest so as not to offend his host.

After Putin's predecessor in the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, travelled to Jericho in the West Bank last year a decision was made to name a street after him.

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