Peres presents preconditions to Abbas

Abbas: Unity gov't will honor all previous agreements between Israel and PA.

September 21, 2006 21:49
Peres presents preconditions to Abbas

Peres and Abbas 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Vice-Premier Shimon Peres met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in New York on Thursday, and presented to him the preconditions that the vice-premier said needed to be fulfilled before any meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could take place. The preconditions presented by Peres included the release of IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit and a cessation of Kassam rocket fire against Israel. The vice-premier also emphasized the need for increased Palestinian cooperation in the negotiation process, holding them accountable for the current stalemate in discussions over a possible prisoner swap deal. "Those who are actively preventing the release of Palestinian prisoners are in effect Gilad Shalit's kidnappers themselves," Peres said. In response, Abbas said that he was working tirelessly to secure the release of Shalit, and that he would continue in his efforts. Abbas said that if a Palestinian national unity government were established, the government would be obligated to accept and honor all previous agreements made between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including the recognition of Israel's right to exist.

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