Palestinian President Says He Is Prepared To Construct Confidence | World information
CAIRO (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he was ready to take confidence-building measures and restore calm to the Palestinian territories, despite Israel’s actions having made a two-state solution impossible.
Abbas spoke when he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah in Cairo days after holding talks with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a rare high-level meeting.
Egypt played a leading role in brokering the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist faction Hamas after the 11-day conflict in Gaza in May and has since attempted to reinforce the ceasefire and facilitate reconstruction in the Gaza Strip amid occasional renewed outbreaks of violence.
In Cairo, the three leaders pledged to “work together to refine a vision, to activate efforts to resume negotiations and to work with brothers and partners to revitalize the peace process,” said a statement released by the Egyptian presidency .
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians failed in 2014 and analysts say there is little prospect of revival, in part due to divisions between Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The PA seeks an independent state in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
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Addressing the talks in Cairo, Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority had adopted peaceful methods, even though an escalation of Israeli “violations” made a two-state solution under international law impossible.
“We renew our willingness to work at this stage to prepare the atmosphere through confidence-building steps, which include achieving full calm in Palestinian territories,” he said in a text published by the Palestinian state news agency Wafa.
After Abbas met with Gantz, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett quickly downplayed the idea of moving towards peace negotiations, even though Israel also agreed to lend $ 150 million to the Palestinian Authority.
Bennett’s Secretary of State Yair Lapid on Wednesday doubted the prospects for a two-state solution, saying such a move could destabilize far-right Bennett’s bipartisan coalition.
(Reporting by Mohamed Waly in Cairo and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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