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Vital issues of PA-Israel settlement may be solved this year: Abbas

February 04, 2013, 11:46 UTC+3

At the same time, he confirmed the demand of the Palestinian side that Israel stop fully all settlement activity

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RAMALLAH (West Bank), February 4 (Itar-Tass) – Vital issues of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement may be solved within this year if the Israeli government shows good will, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Itar-Tass.

“At the present moment we have been recognized by the world community, and if the Israelis demonstrate good intentions we will settle within this year all issues that must be settled – as concerns the settlement activity, Jerusalem and refugees; and of course we hope that this year the Palestinian state will gain independence,” Abbas added.

“If the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, or the present government or the next one were able to achieve peace on the basis of the existing international legal base, on the basis of the road map and corresponding decisions of the United Nations, we would surely arrive at that together with them,” the Palestinian leader stressed.

He noted, however, that international support is also necessary to achieve peace. “I don’t mean Russia, of course, as Russia always helps us and always takes the stance in favor of the Palestinians,” he specified.

“But we would like to get support from other countries of the world, in particular, the United States. We can say that we have achieved certain success, and we can say to the countries of the world that we want to achieve peace both for the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he said. “This is in the interests of both peoples, in the interests of all countries of the region and in the interests of the whole world,” Abbas stressed.

At the same time, he confirmed the demand of the Palestinian side that Israel stop fully all settlement activity. “We cannot agree to the talks at the time when the settlement activity continues,” he said. “We demand from the Israeli government to stop the settlement activity and then we are ready to sit down to talk. This is quite natural and logical,” Abbas added.

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