Mahmoud Abbas Says Peace Deal Will End Conflict With Israel

Palestinian Premier Demands Stepped-Up Pace for Talks

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published August 22, 2013.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants a negotiated peace agreement to include a clause stating that the conflict with Israel is over, he told a delegation from the Israeli left-wing party Meretz on Thursday.

“People say that after signing a peace agreement we will still demand Haifa, Acre and Safed,” he said. “That is not true. Signing the agreement will signal the end of the conflict.”

Abbas further clarified that in any peace settlement the Palestinian state would agree to be demilitarized. He noted that during earlier negotiations with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert there was an agreement to post American soldiers in the West Bank to help maintain security.

“We don’t need planes or missiles. All we need is a strong police force,” said Abbas. “On the other hand, we want sovereignty and independence. I was criticized for saying that I don’t want a single Israeli soldier or settler in the Palestinian state. I meant any Israeli that is part of the occupation. I didn’t mean that I don’t want Jews or Israelis in the Palestinian state. We’ll welcome them as tourists or as people coming to do business. We just don’t want occupation forces.”

Abbas told the Meretz MKs that he is unhappy with the slow pace of the negotiations with Israel, and that Israel has been refusing the Palestinian proposal that the teams hold intensive peace talks with meetings at least every two days.

“I hope we can accelerate the rate of the meetings,” Abbas told the Meretz delegates. “We wanted the meetings between negotiating teams to take place every day or every second day, and not once a week or every 10 days.”

For more go to Haaretz



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