Abbas, French Minister Agree that Palestine Main Issue in Region

RAMALLAH, August 24, 2013 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas and his guest, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, agreed Saturday that regardless of the developments in the region, the Palestinian question remains the main issue and resolving it would contribute to peace and stability.

Abbas said after meeting Fabius that when he saw an opportunity to resume negotiations with Israel, he grabbed it without paying too much attention to what is going on in the region.

“When there was an opportunity to resume negotiations, we took it without looking at what was going on around us,” he said.

Fabius agreed that the opportunity of reaching a final peaceful settlement between the Palestinians and Israel is going to contribute positively to stability in the region.

“It is very important to move forward with negotiations because this will be great for peace and stability in the region,” he said.

‘The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the main issue and therefore it should be resolved peacefully,” he added.

He warned however that unless the negotiations move forward, the developments in the Arab countries could become an obstacle in their way.

He also described the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “illegal under international law.”

He urged both sides not to take any measures that could undermine peace efforts and negotiations.

Abbas stressed his commitment toward peace with Israel but expressed hope that Israel can show similar intentions, urging it to stop settlements, release prisoners and act in a positive manner toward negotiations.

He said he has no objection to meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if a need arises.

“There is nothing that prevents a meeting with Netanyahu when the time comes for that and there is a need to meet,” he said.

Fabius said his country fully supports the Palestinians not only politically but also financially and economically stressing also that the Palestinian people deserve justice as well.

He referred to two agreements he had earlier signed with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah worth19 million euros and said more money is coming when the French president Francois Hollande visits the region in the near future.

source:WAFA NEWS