Hollande and Abbas 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Alain Jocard/Pool)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that there is a
need for a solution to the problem of five million Palestinian refugees in order
to end the conflict with Israel.
Abbas pointed out that the 2002 Arab
Peace Initiative mentions a “just and agreedupon” solution to the refugee
Abbas was speaking to reporters in Ramallah after meeting with
visiting French President François Hollande.
Abbas’s comments came in
response to Hollande’s appeal to the Palestinians to show flexibility on the
issue of the refugees.
“A just peace, ending the occupation which began
in 1967 and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with east
Jerusalem as its capital is the guarantee for stability in the region,” Abbas
He said that he discussed with Hollande the latest developments
surrounding the peace talks with Israel.
Abbas warned that continued
settlement construction would undermine and foil the peace process. He also
condemned settler assaults on Palestinians and the continued incarceration of
Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
Abbas reaffirmed the PA’s commitment to
pursue the peace talks with Israel until the end of the nine-month period, in
accordance with understandings reached with US Secretary of State John
Abbas praised the European position on settlements, which, he
added, would prompt the Israeli government to reconsider its policy in this
“We are calling for a boycott of settlement products,” Abbas
said. “We are not calling for a boycott of Israel.”
Abbas thanked France
for its continued financial support for the Palestinians, saying he was happy to
see six French ministers accompany Hollande on his visit to
Hollande, who earlier laid a wreath on Yasser Arafat’s grave in
the Mukata presidential compound, said after the meeting that to salvage the
two-state solution, Israel should stop building in the settlements.
the sake of peace, France calls for the total and definitive end to settlement
construction, because it will make it more difficult to reach a two-state
solution,” Hollande said.
He also reiterated his support for the
establishment of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines with
agreed-upon land swaps and Jerusalem as the joint capital of two states. He also
reaffirmed Israel’s right to security.
During Hollande’s visit, the two
sides signed five agreements stipulating that France would support the
Palestinians in various fields, including energy-related projects,
transportation and the establishment of a French school in Ramallah.
two sides also signed an agreement according to which France would transfer
another 10 million euros to support the PA budget.
France had agreed to
provide the PA with 19m. euros this year.
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu did not relate to Hollande’s remarks in Ramallah when he greeted him
with a warm speech in the Knesset just a few hours after Hollande met
One government official said Hollande’s remarks were expected and
reflected wellknown European and French attitudes toward the settlements.