Obama to Abbas: I'll support peace talks

President-elect calls PA president, pledges to push peace process forward, towards a two-state solution.

obama abbas 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
obama abbas 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
US president-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday spoke on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and pledged that his administration would back the peace process with Israel, a senior Palestinian negotiator said. In a statement sent to reporters, Saeb Erekat said that during the conversation Obama expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. "Obama promised that he'll continue efforts to push the peace process forward in order to arrive at a two state solution," Erekat said. "He said he will work with both the Palestinians and the Israelis to achieve peace, which is in the interest of both parties." Erekat said that Obama's remarks showed his determination to help reach a permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Abbas was one of five world leaders Obama called on Tuesday as he continued to respond to the congratulatory calls from dignitaries around the globe that poured in after his election two weeks ago. One such call placed to Obama was from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who on November 7 discussed a variety of issues with the president elect, including the peace talks. The two leaders reportedly stressed the importance of the ongoing negotiations and agreed that any final status agreement must take into account Israel's security needs. Tovah Lazaroff and AP contributed to this report