Abbas: 'We can achieve an end to the conflict'

PA president says “status quo cannot continue,” notes he intends to jump-start talks with new initiative.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas 390 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas 390 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday told former minister Yossi Beilin and a Geneva Initiative delegation that he believes Israel and the Palestinians can achieve an end to the conflict, according to Army Radio. Abbas spoke to Beilin and his delegation during a Sunday visit to Ramallah.
Abbas said that the “status quo cannot continue.” He also noted that he intended to present a new initiative in the near future to jump-start peace talks.
He plans to deliver a letter to Israel which will address all peace process issues in dispute. Abbas stated that with former prime minister Ehud Olmert “we were very close, and I believe we can achieve an end to the conflict.”
The PLO on Saturday had dismissed a call by Beilin to dismantle the Palestinian Authority. Beilin, in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine, called on Abbas to dissolve the PA and “return daily control to Israel.”
Addressing Abbas, Beilin wrote: “Do not let Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu hide behind the fig leaf of the Palestinian Authority – impose upon him, once again, the responsibility for the fate of 4 million Palestinians.”
Netanyahu and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are scheduled to meet after Passover for the highest-level meeting between the two sides since September 2010, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said last Wednesday.
Palestinian Authority officials, confirming that the meeting would take place in Jerusalem, said Fayyad would deliver a long-awaited letter to Netanyahu. A senior PA official said that the letter would not contain any threats, such as the dismantlement of the PA.
Israel, as first reported last Wednesday in The Jerusalem Post, will present the Palestinians with a letter of its own.
Israeli and Palestinian officials have not fully restarted an official negotiations track since a round of low-level talks in Jordan broke off on January 25, after five sessions.
Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.