Abbas: I'm Willing to Meet and Negotiate With Netanyahu at Any Time

The Palestinian president will tell the Israeli premier not to miss the opportunity presented by President Trump, in a speech for Monday's Israel Conference on Peace

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Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit: AP /Evan Vucci, AFP / MANDEL NGAN, Olivier Fitoussi,
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

In a recorded speech for this Monday's Israel Conference on Peace, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to miss the opportunity to achieve peace currently presented by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Abbas will reiterate his position that he is willing to meet Netanyahu at any time, in order to reach an understanding on concrete steps that can be taken to resolve the issues standing in the way of ending the occupation and reaching a lasting peace agreement.

Abbas will say that the Palestinian leadership is working in earnest to reach a peace agreement on the basis of a two-state solution: “The Palestinian people aspires to establish its nation in the territories that were conquered in 1967 with its capital in East Jerusalem, living peacefully beside the State of Israel. We also aspire to reach a solution on all core issues and a permanent agreement that will end the conflict once and for all,” he will tell delegates.

Abbas believes that this “will lead to living together with all the peoples of the region, as was put forth in the [2002] Arab Peace Initiative, whose calls include the reaching of a just and agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Abbas will stress that ending the conflict will thwart the efforts of those who are taking advantage of it in order to conduct terrorist attacks and promote terrorism around the world, and will eventually lead to victory over terrorism.

The Palestinian president will also stress his position on the war on terrorism, which calls for a unified front to defeat the enemy. “I am using this stage to call all those who incite against us to stop doing so, because the continued incitement will chisel away at the trust we want to strengthen between the two people and will harm the chances of reaching peace,” he will say.

In his video interview, Abbas lists some of the issues that stand in the way of the advancement of negotiations, citing settlement construction on Palestinian land and the erection of barriers and roadblocks, and the detention of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. “How can peace be achieved if it is not based on the two-state solution?" he asks.

"We reject a regime of one nation based on apartheid, and I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu to take action based on goodwill, so we can succeed together to promote earnest efforts promoted by President Trump for the achievement of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”

Addressing the issue of Jerusalem, Abbas will say the Palestinian position is that "East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, will be an open city that will be open to worshippers of all religions." He will warn that the current situation in Jerusalem is feeding hate and leading to a religion-based conflict, "which the Palestinians do not want and are vehemently opposed to."

Abbas will salute those attending the Haaretz-organized peace conference, as well as celebrating the freedom of the press and the democratic forces in Israel that support peace based on the two-state solution.

Abbas will tell the delegates, “I address your conscience: Do you not think it is time to give the Palestinian people the same freedom afforded the rest of the nations of the world, and bring the long and hated occupation to an end? Don’t you think we have suffered enough, and that the time has come for us to enjoy freedom and live honorably like you and the rest of the peoples of the world?"