Abbas disappointed with US stance

PA president: Obama should use his power to pressure Israel on settlements.

Mahmoud abbas 311 187 (photo credit: AP)
Mahmoud abbas 311 187
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he is unhappy about the change in American policy toward settlement construction.
In an interview published Sunday by Der Spiegel, Abbas told the German magazine he would not change his position and would not agree to resume negotiations unless Israel completely halts construction in West Bank settlements and recognizes the 1967 borders.
“These are not preconditions, but the first stages in realizing theRoad Map and they should have been taken long ago. Unlike Israel, westood up to our commitment – we recognized Israel’s right to exist andwe are combating violent groups. It is now Israel’s turn,” Abbas said.
Abbas expressed his disappointment that Barack Obama, as the presidentof the “strongest country in the world,” was not doing more to pressureIsrael.
The PA president also revealed that he had an active engagement withformer prime minister Ehud Olmert. “We didn’t reject his offer, hesimply stepped down before we reached the final part of thenegotiations. His successor, Tzipi Livni, did not become prime ministerand that’s why we never reached an agreement.”
Abbas said there was no point for him to run for president again, since“the way to a diplomatic solution is blocked… but I urge the countriesof the world: don’t let the Palestinians descend to a state of utterdesperation.”