NEW YORK, September 25, 2013 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that Israel is trying to sabotage the peace process and the negotiations through its acts in Jerusalem.
He told reporters in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings, that “we are going to overcome all difficulties in order to make the negotiations successful until we achieve the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.”
He said he was happy to see Palestine participate in the UNGA as an observer state for the first time in history.
Abbas earlier met with US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry.
In remarks before the meeting with Obama, Abbas thanked him and Kerry for their support and help in re-launching peace negotiations as well as US support for building state institutions.
“We appreciate all the support that the US is extending to the Palestinian people to build the institutions of the future Palestinian state, which hopefully will materialize very soon with your support and continued assistance,” Abbas told Obama.
Abbas reiterated Palestinian commitment to the peace process “so that we can reach a final settlement that ultimately will lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state that would live side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.”
He said, “We have no illusions that peace will be easy or simple. And we have to overcome several difficulties, but we realize that peace in the Middle East is not just important for the Palestinians and Israelis, it’s important for the entire region and the world.”
He promised to “exert every effort possible to make sure that they (negotiations) will succeed and to take advantage of this historical opportunity. We understand there will be difficulties, but we will do our utmost best to overcome them.”
On his part, Obama re-stated the US position on the Middle East conflict.
“The position of the United States has been clear. The border of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed-to swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states with robust security provisions so that Israel retains the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threats,” he said.
Obama said negotiations remain “the best way, the only way, for us to achieve what should be our goal: two states living side-by-side in peace and security. It’s right for Palestinian children. It’s right for Israeli children.”
He said that the US will continue to support efforts by the Palestinian Authority to improve governance and increase transparency in the West Bank in spite of constraints it operates under, including resource constraints.
“We think it’s very important that we continue to support efforts that have been made by the Authority, for example, to improve internal security and professionalize security forces inside the Authority. And that, I think, lays also an important foundation for the kind of economic development and governance that will be critical for an independent Palestinian state,” he said.