Abbas: 2017 Might Be Last Chance for Two-State Solution

President Mahmoud Abbas (R) shakes hands with President Andrzej Duda during a joint press conference in Bethlehem on Jan. 18, 2017


Bethlehem, 20 Rabiul Akhir 1438/19 January 2017 (MINA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday reiterated his commitment to peace saying this year might be the last chance to achieve the two-state solution.

According to WAFA, in a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Bethlehem, Abbas called on world countries that are yet to recognize the State of Palestine, to take the same path as the 138 countries which already did, the last of which was the Vatican.

He renewed support to regional and international efforts and initiatives to support the resumption of peace talks, namely the French initiative and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to hold a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow.

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Abbas also called on US president-elect Donald Trump to work to make peace in the region and expressed willingness to join efforts to accomplish this goal.

The two presidents discussed the latest efforts to support peace in the region; in particular the results of the International Peace conference held by France on January 15 in Paris to jump start the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Abbas said it is necessary to build on its achievements and form an international mechanism to keep up with any political process, a timeframe conforming to international law, the Arab Peace initiative and United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2334, the Paris statement, the two-state solution on the borders of 1967.

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In response to press questions, Abbas said that he heard about Trump’s statements about moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but have not been informed officially.

Abbas said, “If such measure was carried out, it would ruin the two-state solution. It is illegal, because moving the embassy would be the first similar incident in history, because all world countries’ embassies are in Tel Aviv.”

He said the decision will affect the negotiations and resembles the illegal decisions by the Israeli government to annex East Jerusalem, a land occupied in 1967 and is the capital of the State of Palestine.

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While Abbas said it is wise to wait until Trump officially begins his duties as president, he called on him not to move the embassy saying Palestinians will have a political and diplomatic response should such move is carried out.

He also expressed optimism concerning Trump’s interest to reach a solution for the Palestinians- Israeli conflict. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)