(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “not to relinquish” the opportunity to make peace that has been presented by US President Donald Trump.
“We call on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to show good will and undertake honest efforts so that we can together make successful the sincere efforts led by Donald Trump,” he told Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace in a prerecorded video message.
Over the past few months, both Abbas and Netanyahu have been discussing the possibility of reviving the peace process with Trump and a number of his advisers.
Abbas added that he is “completely prepared to sit with Netanyahu to agree on specific steps” to resolve the issues hindering the end of Israel’s military rule and reaching a final peace agreement.
In the past several weeks, Abbas has said on multiple occasions that he is ready to meet with Netanyahu, without mentioning preconditions such as a settlement freeze.
Muhammad Mustafa, Abbas’s economic adviser, told Bloomberg last Monday that the PA president plans to forgo asking for a settlement freeze in order to revive peace talks.
At the Haaretz conference, Abbas also reiterated his support for the two-state solution, including the establishment of a Palestinian state along 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.
“How is it possible for peace to be realized if it is not based on the two-state solution?” Abbas asked.
Trump has actively avoided backing the two-state solution in his public appearances with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Abbas’s speech at the conference comes at the same time that Palestinian leadership is reportedly preparing to dispatch a delegation of five officials to Washington to discuss reviving the peace process with the Trump administration.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, said on Sunday that a delegation is expected to leave for the American capital after the Muslim holiday Id al-Fitr, which falls at the end of June.