Abbas : Unprecedented Steps for Tackling Rifts

The conference of the ambassadors of the State of Palestine to Arab and Islamic countries was held in Manama Tuesday.

Manama, 15 Rjab 1438/12 April 917  (MINA) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said he would take “unprecedented steps in the coming days to deal with the Palestinian divisions.”

Abbas, in a statement opening a conference that grouped ambassadors of the State of Palestine to Arab and Islamic countries, said the Islamic movement, Hamas, was responsible for the inter-Palestinians rifts.

Hamas has formed a government in Gaza strip and has rejected mediation and conciliation efforts to tackle the Palestinian-Palestinian disputes, he said.

Hamas militants took over Gaza in 2007 after routing troops loyal to Abbas in bloody street battles. Palestinians have since been divided with two leaderships, one based in Gaza and the other in Ramallah, the West Bank.

Palestinian leadership, Arab states namely Egypt and Qatar have tried to iron out the differences, however Hamas “has taken backward moves,” the Palestinian president added.

Elaborating, Abbas confirmed that the Palestinian leadership was seeking to attain full UN membership.

Palestine, which currently has an observer status at the UN, has been recognized as an independent state by 138 countries.

The Palestinian leadership is seeking international recognition of Palestine as an independent state, with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas re-affirmed adherence to the aspired settlement, the two-state solution for ending the conflict with Israel and achieving comprehensive and just peace in the region.



Palestine remains committed to the Arab peace initiative

Palestine remains committed to the Arab peace initiative, based on Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel, he said, indicating that plight of six million Palestinian refugees can be tackled at the negotiating table.

Saudi Arabia announced the Arab initiative at a summit held in Beirut in March 2002.

Israel must cease constructing settlements on all Palestinian territories and along the 1967 borders because “these settlements are unjust and must be removed,” Abbas stressed.

For his part, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa affirmed in his address at the convention his country’s unwavering support for the Palestinian leadership and its efforts to alleviate suffering of the people under occupation.

The international community should exert pressure on Israel to stop settlements’ construction and allow establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki stated that the conference, held for the second time in Bahrain, would boost Palestinian diplomatic efforts. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)