Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) stands with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma at the Union Building in Pretoria November 26, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
South African President Jacob Zuma welcomed Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to Pretoria on Wednesday, criticizing Israel's settlement policy as "undermining" efforts to achieve a two-state solution.
"We reiterate our call for the total cessation of all settlement activities," Zuma was quoted by AFP as saying at a joint press conference with Abbas.
Zuma offered to help restart moribund peace talks, adding that two South African envoys had been appointed to assist in fulfilling the task.
Abbas said that the Palestinians are "the last nation in the world that is still living under occupation," adding that South Africa's success in building an independent state could serve as an inspiration.
On Monday, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki announced that the PA has decided to delay its statehood bid at the United Nations Security Council, which was supposed to take place at the end of this month.
Malki told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency that the decision to postpone the statehood bid came following US pressure and threats, as well as the failure of the PA to secure the backing of nine Security Council members in favor of the statehood bid.
Abbas said two weeks ago that he was determined to proceed with his plan to seek a Security Council resolution that would set a timetable for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Abbas was hoping that the resolution would declare all the territories captured by Israel in 1967, including east Jerusalem, as the lands of the future Palestinian state.