Abbas: Saudi Arabia Had No Hesitation in Supporting Us

Abbas: Saudi Arabia Had No Hesitation in Supporting Us

Monday, 19 February, 2018 - 12:45
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed his commitment to the option of negotiations to achieve peace with Israel and his refusal to yield to pressure.

He said that the peace he believes in is based on "the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative."

Abbas said his country has been carrying out consultation with the Saudi leadership, which is stressing that the solution should only be based on a guarantee that Jerusalem will remain Palestine’s capital.

“We have talked and carried out consultations with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since US President Donald Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, also coordinated and discussed with them - along with the Arab brothers, the upcoming steps that should be taken,” Abbas said, in his interview with Arrajol Magazine.

“Saudi Arabia has historically stood by our cause and our people,” Abbas added, pointing out that Saudi Arabia “has never intervened in our internal affairs and has never hesitated to support our rights and our people.”

He explained that he has never rejected any offer to carry out talks aimed at achieving the two-state solution.

“We insist on carrying out serious negotiations to achieve peace and for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders,” Abbas said, adding that the negotiations require a partner “who believes in a two-state solution and not a party that imposes power.”

He described Trump’s decision to consider Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a "second Balfour Declaration," adding that it is contrary to the international law and challenges the feelings of Muslims and Christians.

He said such measures would "encourage extremist groups to turn the conflict from political to religious one."

Abbas said he called on EU foreign ministers to put "a new mechanism for sponsoring the negotiations, which is a multi-international mechanism that can include the international quartet and a number of other European and Arab countries as well."

He refused the US administration to "remain the only sponsor for the political process after it declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

Regarding his statement about the death of Oslo Accords, which were signed with Israel 25 years ago, Abbas said “Israel has killed Oslo. It has terminated Oslo” through its denial and full and deliberate violation of the Oslo accords since 1994 until today.

“Israel has imposed colonial facts instead of Oslo to consolidate its control and sovereignty over the land, resources and the Palestinian people in order to implement the project ‘Greater Israel in the historic land of Palestine,’ Abbas explained.

"Today we count on any new mediation that is put forward for peace and we are with it."

In his response to a question about possible alternatives to the work of the Palestinian Authority after the suspension of recognition of Israel and the end of Oslo accords, Abbas said that the Palestinian Central Council, which held its session mid-January, has adopted a new strategy.

He told Arrajol magazine that this strategy focuses on “working to achieve independence and sovereignty of Palestine and move from the phase of self-governing authority to the phase of a state, in implementation of the resolutions of the National Council and United Nations, until the end of the occupation and the achievement of peace through a pluralistic UN framework.”

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