In visit with EU foreign minister, Abbas repeats demand for settlement freeze, release of prisoners

Erekat said that Abbas stressed during the meeting that he was in favor of the resumption of the peace process with Israel, but only after the Israeli government accepts the two-state solution.

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May 20, 2015 20:05
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony in Ramallah

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony in Ramallah. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday discussed with EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini the latest developments surrounding the Middle East peace process.

Following the meeting between Abbas and Moherini in Ramallah, Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated the PA’s demand for a freeze of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords.

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Erekat said that Abbas stressed during the meeting that he was in favor of the resumption of the peace process with Israel, but only after the Israeli government accepts the Palestinian demands, which also include acceptance of the two-state solution.

“We are making every possible effort to salvage the peace process,” Erekat told reporters after the meeting. “There’s great cooperation with the Arab League committee entrusted with discussing a new resolution that would be submitted to the UN Security Council. We’re also working together in international forums, including the International Criminal Court. All what we are doing is aimed at preserving the two-state solution as we face an Israeli government that has chosen the language of settlements, dictates, detentions and assassinations.”

Erekat criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent remarks that Jerusalem would remain the eternal capital of Israel.

Erekat expressed hope that the EU would pursue its efforts to oblige the Israeli government to fulfill its commitments under the terms of the peace process, especially the cessation of settlement construction.

On Friday Israel Army Radio reported that Abbas had also demanded that any negotiations would last a year, the goal of which would be develop a framework that would see the Israeli army's withdrawal from the West Bank by 2017.



Abbas further warned that if Benjamin Netanyahu’s government did not comply with his demands and  continued in the path of the previous coalition, that the Palestinian Authority would continue to internationalize the conflict, drawing in foreign bodies such as the International Criminal Court and the FIFA.


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