Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted Friday that Palestinian positions are identical in terms of the Road Map peace plan’s obligations.
The President’s remarks came in a joint press conference with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, in Brussels, where the two sides discussed formation of a Palestinian national unity government.
Abbas emphasized the need for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the Road Map, reaching eventually a two-state solution consisting of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace. “Peace talks should be based on a two-state solution , the international legitimacy’s resolutions, renouncing violence and past signed agreements including the Arab peace proposal of 2002”, President Abbas maintained.
The Palestinian leader affirmed that peace negotiations, within the upcoming government, would be the sole responsibility of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a matter that has been agreed upon jointly with Hamas.
Abbas has re-appointed Prime Minister designate, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, to form a coalition government based on acceptance of international legitimacy’s resolution, signed peace accords as well as the higher interests of the Palestinian people, particularly regarding a sovereign state on 1967 borders.
The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Javier Solana, said that the EU is keen to co-operate with the Palestinian people regarding the formation of a new government, stressing that the EU is fully supporting President Abbas. Solana confirmed that the EU won’t take a stance towards the unity government until it exists, making clear that the EU will wait and see whether such a government would be ‘a part of the solution or a part of the problem’.
In this respect, Solana voiced hope that this government would be part of the solution, in a way that would help the EU to continue contributing to a political horizon to achieve the goals, President Abbas emphasized.
Abbas’s visit to Brussels is a part of the Palestinian leadership efforts to garner support for the upcoming Palestinian government after rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, agreed to a power-sharing cabinet that is capable of lifting the one year-old economic blockade and resuming peace talks with Israel.
The Quartet committee for Middle East peace, made up of United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia, reaffirmed Wednesday demands that any Palestinian government should recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements as preconditions for lifting the economic embargo.
Hamas, which came to power last January, announced it would respect Palestinian obligations but did not clearly commit itself to the Quartet’s demands.