Thursday, May 27, 2010

Palestine hopes to resume direct peace talks with Israel, says Abbas

By NNN-Bernama,
Putrajaya : Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas said he hoped direct peace talks can be resumed with Israel if both sides manage to finalise two issues -- borders and security arrangements, in their ongoing proximity peace talks.
Answering a question on the progress made so far in the proximity peace talks (indirect peace talks), the Palestinian leader said that since talks began early this month, both sides had completed two rounds of discussions with the focus being on border and security issues.
"I hope within four months...more or less we can finalise this two...if we do of course we can go to direct talks (with Israel)," he said at a joint press conference after talks with Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at the latter's office here Thursday, where among others Abbas briefed Najib on the latest progress concerning the proximity peace talks.
Abbas arrived here Thursday for a three-day working visit to further enhance the existing excellent relations between Malaysia and Palestine. This is his second visit, the first was in 2007.
The indirect Israel-Palestine peace talks which the United States is mediating started on May 9 and has a four-month deadline.
The indirect peace talks, approved by the Arab League, also cleared the way for the first negotiations in 18 months between Israel and Palestine and gave a boost to Washington's peace diplomacy in the region.
Abbas said he would also discuss the border and security issue, when he visits the United States to meet US President Barack Obama, expected to be sometime next month.
"We will (also) talk about all other issues, which we call core issues like...Jerusalem and so on and we will see what will happen... anyhow we are making progress," he said.
The Palestinian leader stressed that Palestine was commited to peace and the two-state solution through negotiations where both Israel and a sovereign Palestine state lived side by side peacefully.
About his discussions with Najib, Abbas said he had a very successful talk where he also reiterated Palestine and its people's appreciation to the people and the Malaysian government for their continous support towards their just cause.
Abbas said the Palestinian people hoped that these talks would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestine state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas also urged his rival faction Hamas, which controls Gaza, to sign an Egyptian-brokered document aimed at paving the way for legislative and presidential elections, which Fatah had already signed, for the sake of the Palestinian people.
He said that he had also told the Prime Minister about the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza due to Israel's blockade and the necessity for the immediate ending of the siege.
Describing the bilateral relations as always having been brotherly and excellent, Abbas said he saw his meeting with Najib as an opportunity to express his deep gratitude and thanks to the people of Malaysia and its leadership for their support to the Palestinian struggle.
"We are confident that Malaysia will continue to support the Palestinian struggle for ending the occupation of our land, especially in Jerusalem ...and hoping that all of us will be able to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque (Islam's third holiest shrine after Mecca and Medina)... in the near future," he said.
Source :
Palestine hopes to resume direct peace talks with Israel, says Abbas

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