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Photo by: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Abbas ready to meet with PM, says INSS
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
22/01/2014
Full interview with PA president to be aired next week at annual security conference in Tel Aviv.
 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted Wednesday as saying he is prepared to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at any time.

The Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University also quoted Abbas as saying he does not rule out addressing the Knesset.

“I don’t reject the idea and would be prepared to discuss it,” Abbas said when asked whether he would agree to appear before the Israeli legislature.

He also did not rule out the possibility that Netanyahu would one day be invited to speak before the Palestinian parliament.

The full interview with Abbas will be aired during the institute’s annual conference next week.

Abbas outlined the Palestinian goals as follows: strengthening the vision of two states for two peoples, where Israel would exist, in security and stability, alongside a Palestinian state created on the pre- 1967 lines; making east Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state and keeping it as a city for all religions in accordance with arrangements; placing the borders of a Palestinian state under Palestinian control, and not the IDF; and discussing the issue of the refugees in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Abbas said he would agree to a transitional period of only three months, during which time Israel would gradually withdraw and ensure its security.

“We accept the principle of a transitional period, but I wish to clarify that those who are proposing 10 or 15 years don’t want to withdraw,” he said, referring to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan to keep the Jordan Valley under Israeli control.

Abbas dismissed the possibility of signing any agreement that pertains only to the West Bank. Any agreement reached with Israel would be brought to a referendum, he said.

“We are talking on behalf of all Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and diaspora,” he stressed. “Any agreement would apply to the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the safe passage between them.”

Referring to the recent upsurge in Palestinian terrorism, Abbas attacked “Israel’s unjustified assaults on Palestinian civilians and their properties, as well as mosques and churches.”

The IDF and settlers are behind these assaults, he said.

He emphasized, however, that he “condemns all acts of violence from both sides, because this disrupts the climate of peace which we aspire to achieve.”

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