“Peace is Our Strategic Goal” – Palestinian President

Bethlehem, 02 Shafar 1438/02 November 2016 (MINA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that peace is a strategic goal of the Palestinian Authority.

“We reiterate here that peace is our strategic goal and is in the interest of all parties,” the Palestinian news agency (WAFA) quoted President Abbas as saying in a joint press conference with visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella held in the presidential headquarters in Bethlehem.

“The key to peace is in ending the Israeli occupation and in lifting the injustice faced by our people so that the two states, Palestine and Israel, can live in security, stability, peace and good neighborly relations,” he added.

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He argued that the Italian President was informed about the Palestinian Authority’s readiness to reach a peace deal with Israel based on the two-state solution and relevant the United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

He expressed support for the international peace conference proposed by France and which is supposed to be held before the end of this year.

Abbas said in reference to a recent resolution on Jerusalem passed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that the mission of this international organization is to preserve world heritage and to condemn Israeli violations aimed at changing the character of East Jerusalem.He said Israeli claims aiming to confuse between religion and heritage were not true and not in their correct place.

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“I want to emphasize here our respect for Judaism,” he said.

“We have always called for keeping Jerusalem open for worship to followers of the three monotheistic religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam. What we condemn is the Israeli violations and settler attacks against our people and their holy places,” he said.

For his part, the Italian President expressed his country’s support to international efforts to revive peace process to help materialize the two-state proposal.

He underlined the importance of confidence-building measures to pave the way for the resumption of peace talks. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)