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Palestinian leader says he's committed to peace

Palestinian leader says he's committed to peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he plans to reassure President Barack Obama during their upcoming meeting that he is committed to peace with Israel.
Abbas, who is on a three-day visit to Malaysia, said he also plans to discuss with Obama the key issues of territory and security, which are the main focus of indirect talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.
"Of course we are committed to peace and to achieving peace through negotiations," Abbas said after meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. "We will see what will happen. Anyhow, we are hopeful."
The "proximity talks" being mediated by the United States began early this month and have raised hopes that direct negotiations could begin soon between both sides.
The White House said Wednesday that it is trying to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Obama in Washington in the near future but no date was set.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Obama next Tuesday in a sign that strained relations between the two allies are beginning to thaw.
Abbas reiterated that he hoped indirect talks will yield results in four months, as envisaged.
"I hope within four months more or less we can finish" discussing the key issues of security and territory. "If we do of course we can go to direct talks after this," he said.
Abbas is on a regional tour, and came to Malaysia from Vietnam. He is scheduled to go to Jakarta, Indonesia, this weekend.
Relations between the U.S. and Israel plummeted in March after Tel Aviv announced plans to build 1,600 new homes in a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. The U.S. was infuriated and temporarily derailed plans to restart peace talks under American mediation.
Obama has pressured Netanyahu, who leads a conservative nationalist government, to halt Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem _ captured territories that the Palestinians claim for a future state along with the Gaza Strip.


Updated : 2021-07-25 18:44 GMT+08:00