US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in a bid to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in a bid to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
In a joint press briefing with Rice immediately after the meeting, President Abbas rejected any unilateral Israeli moves including a ‘state of provisional borders’, that would preempt final status talks.
The president called for continuous action by all concerned parties to put an end to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, which has been ongoing for decades, in a way that would lead to a just comprehensive peace at all tracks.
“ I am pleased to welcome Dr. Rice to our country today and I would like to thank her for all peace efforts she has been exerting for a workable peaceful compromise here”, President Abbas remarked.
The Palestinian President reiterated Palestinian acceptance of the two-state solution called for by President Bush, provided that such a solution would result in an end to the Israeli occupation, which began in 1967, mainly in accordance with the internationally-backed Road Map peace blueprint.
Rice, from her part, told reporters that she came to Ramallah as part of a Middle East tour, to reiterate Washington’s commitment to back the Road Map peace plan including a two-state solution; an Israeli and a Palestinian, living side by side in peace, just in accordance with President’s Bush vision of 2001. .
The US Foreign Secretary maintained that the Palestinian people have been seeking a statehood for a long time, and that the ‘Israeli people’ have been seeking peace with their neighbors.
“The Palestinians should attain their statehood and the Israelis should live in security, and that’s it is our objective”, Rice confirmed.
Secretary Rice started her Middle East tour on Friday, beginning with Israel and continuing through the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Media sources said that Rice holds no new ideas but will possibly exchange thoughts with parties concerned in light of the Hamilton-Baker report , which called for the solution of the Palestinian question as a basis for regional peace.