Abbas to British Houses: Peace Needs Your Active Support

LONDON, September 9, 2013 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Monday urged the British House of Lords and House of Commons to actively support the peace process that is supposed to lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

“We need your active support to ensure the successful conclusion of the peace negotiations so that the State of Palestine can live side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security on the 1967 borders,” Abbas told the British parliamentarians.

Abbas arrived in London on Sunday for a 4-day official visit and meeting with top British officials.

He addressed the British houses briefing them on the latest developments in the peace talks with Israel, which started in Washington on July 30 following intensive efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the two parties back to the negotiations table.

“Last month we resumed negotiations on all core issues,” said Abbas. “This could not have happened without the active and constructive efforts made by President Obama and Secretary Kerry, and also the efforts of Europe, Russia and the United Nations.”

Abbas said that “a time period of 6-9 months has been designated to achieve a comprehensive agreement including end of claims and end of conflict.”

Following is the full text of Abbas address:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am honored once again to be in this chamber, with the distinguished members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Last month we resumed negotiations on all core issues. This could not have happened without the active and constructive efforts made by President Obama and Secretary Kerry, and also the efforts of Europe, Russia and the United Nations. I hope that the U.S. and the Quartet will be a full partner in these negotiations.  We will address all permanent status issues: Jerusalem, Borders, Settlements, Refugees, Security, and Prisoners.

A time period of 6-9 months has been designated to achieve a comprehensive agreement including end of claims and end of conflict. If the Israelis honor their commitment to release the 104 Palestinian prisoners from pre-1993 I commit not to accede to any of the U.N. agencies or conventions, during the 6-9 month period.

We also agreed to continue fulfilling our security obligations during this time, and we will shoulder all commitments emanating from agreements signed, The Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.

If Israel withdraws from the territories occupied in 1967, 57 Arab and Muslim nations will normalize relations with Israel. In a region experiencing a period of deep unrest, this would be a most significant and beneficial development and we hope that the Israeli government will consider it seriously.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We hope that the Israeli government will honor its commitments including a halt on settlement activities, which have accelerated drastically in the past six weeks. It should be noted that (4019) new housing units have been announced in Israeli settlements since the negotiations resumed in Washington D.C. July 30, 2013.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation for the recent E.U. Guidelines on Israeli settlements. This step, which reinforces the 1967 border and the two-state solution, provides a constructive atmosphere for negotiations. I hope that these Guidelines will enter into effect in January 1st, 2014, as announced. Moreover, we hope that you, as Britain, and as a member of the EU, will continue to take steps aimed at realizing the two-state solution, which are a natural translation of your clear policy on Israel’s settlement enterprise, and which will help us to finally achieve peace for the benefit of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Last year 138 nations voted for Palestine as a non member state in the U.N. I hope the day will soon come when Great Britain will recognize the State of Palestine with East- Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On incitement I propose to revive the trilateral committee on anti-incitement. (U.S. Palestinian, Israeli).

As for the reconciliation:

We will do it when Hamas accepts to go to elections (Presidential and legislative).

Reconciliation will not be a burden on negotiations. Hamas have agreed that if a peace agreement is reached, and put to referendum, then they will accept that agreement.

Meanwhile we will continue our institutions building for the State of Palestine. I thank Britain for its generous contributions in this endeavor.  I assure you that the State of Palestine takes its responsibilities as an international actor very seriously, and will continue working in the fields of democracy, human rights, women rights, accountability, transparency and the role of law.

On the changes in the Arab World:

Democracy and peace are essential. We are taking a neutral position (Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Elsewhere).

Ladies and Gentlemen:

You may have many questions that you want to ask.  I will distribute a booklet that I prepared after meetings held in U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Palestine with countless Israeli and Jewish leaders.

We need your active support to ensure the successful conclusion of the peace negotiations so that the State of Palestine can live side by side with the State of Israel in Peace and Security on the 1967 borders.
source:WAFA NEWS