Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called President Reuven Rivlin ahead of his departure from office, the Palestinian Authority's Wafa News Agency reported Tuesday.
Abbas expressed hope that peace will be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians as soon as possible, the report said, and Rivlin thanked Abbas for the call. Rivlin's term will come to an end on Wednesday, when President-elect Isaac Herzog is sworn in.
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Last week, at a United Nations luncheon, Rivlin expressed to the Palestinians in a speech that the sides must put the past behind them in order to coexist in peace.
In his remarks, which were an unplanned introduction to his prepared speech, he addressed Abbas directly, referring to him as “my neighbor and my partner.”
Then, noting that the conflict had already gone on for 120 years, he continued, “Let's forget about the past. We are not doomed to live to together, we are destined to live together. It's our role to end conflict.”
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The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, gave his own speech at the luncheon which he organized for Rivlin and ambassadors from friendly countries. In his remarks, Erdan assailed Abbas' speech earlier that day, in which he claimed Israel was a colonialist implant in the Middle East put there to divide and weaken the region.