Peres Calls Abbas 'True Partner' Ahead of Obama Meet

Just before the Palestinian president meets with the U.S. president on Monday, Peres says Abbas is a man of principles who opposes terrorism and violence.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

President Shimon Peres expressed support for Mahmoud Abbas on Monday before the Palestinian leader’s meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. The two men are due to discuss the faltering peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

“He is a true peace partner,” Peres said, a comment unlike recent ones by right-leaning Israeli politicians such as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Peres made the remark during a meeting with Congolese human-rights activist Rose Mapendo. Using Abbas’ nickname, Peres’ office published the remark under the headline in Hebrew: “Israel’s president expressed support for Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen before his meeting with President Obama.”

During the meeting with Mapendo, Peres said the peace talks had reached a critical point and everything possible must be done to ensure they continue.

“There is a clear majority and consensus on the two-state solution. We must keep working with the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas," he said.

"Abu Mazen is a man of principles, and he is opposed to terrorism and violence. He is a good partner and I am happy that our government is conducting talks with him. Disagreements are a normal thing, and that is precisely why negotiations exist: to resolve differences.”

From left, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli President Shimon Peres all shaking hands at the Dead Sea in Jordan Sunday May 26, 2013.Credit: AP

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