Abbas disappointed with US stance

PA president: Obama should use his power to pressure Israel on settlements.

February 7, 2010 09:28
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mahmoud abbas 311 187. (photo credit: AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is unhappy about the change in American policy toward settlement construction.

In an interview published Sunday by Der Spiegel, Abbas told the German magazine he would not change his position and would not agree to resuming negotiations unless Israel completely halts construction in West Bank settlements and recognizes the 1967 borders.

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“These are not preconditions, but the first stages in realizing the Road Map and they should have been taken long ago. Unlike Israel, we stood up to our commitment – we recognized Israel’s right to exist and we are combating violent groups. It is now Israel’s turn,” Abbas said.

Abbas expressed his disappointment that as the president of the “strongest country in the world,” Barack Obama was not doing more to pressure Israel.

The PA president also revealed that he had an active engagement with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, saying “we didn’t reject his offer, he simply stepped down before we reached the final part of the negotiations. His successor, Tzipi Livni, did not become prime minister and that’s why we never reached an agreement.”

Abbas said there was no point for him to run for president again, since “the way to a diplomatic solution is blocked… but I urge the countries of the world: don’t let the Palestinians descend to a state of utter desperation.”

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