Abbas, Erekat hope Obama will push for peace

Hamas urges Obama to stop "bias toward Israel"; PLO negotiator calls on Obama to support Palestinian UN status upgrade.

November 7, 2012 11:49
2 minute read.
Obama meets with Abbas at UN in NY [file]

Obama meets with Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday congratulated US President Barack Obama for his reelection victory.

Abbas expressed hope that Obama will continue his efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.

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Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed a similar sentiment, stating he hopes Obama will emphasize peace and stability in the region during his second-term by pushing for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, Palestinian News Agency Wafa reported.

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According to Wafa, Erekat also called on Obama to support the Palestinian bid for non-member status at the United Nations. Erekat also called on Obama to stand up against settlement expansion in the West Bank.

"We hope Obama will stop settlements immediately and not stop the Palestinians from going to the UN to get non-member status because non-member status will protect the peace process and the two-state solution," Erakat told AFP.

Contrastingly, Hamas expressed disappointment in Obama's policy toward Palestinians during his first term, saying on Wednesday that the Gaza leadership hopes he will change his tack following his victory in Tuesday's US presidential election.


AFP quoted Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu as saying that the group was "waiting to see if there will be a positive change in Obama's policy or not."

"We hope that Obama commits to legitimate Palestinian rights and stops his policy of double standards and bias towards Israel," he added.

Meanwhile, Egypt's presidency said on Wednesday it hoped re-elected US President Barack Obama would work for the interests of both the American and Egyptian people.

A few months into first term as president, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in June 2009 calling for a "new beginning" between the United States and the world's Muslims. But many in the region feel let down, saying he did not do enough on issues such Palestinian aspirations for a state.

"We congratulate the American people on their choice and we hope the newly elected US administration will work to achieve the interests of both the American and Egyptian people," presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told Reuters.

He said Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who is Egypt's first freely elected president, would send a letter to Obama to congratulate him later on Wednesday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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