Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday expressed his willingness to work with the incoming American administration of Donald Trump to achieve a peace agreement with Israel.
In a speech on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the establishment of the Fatah movement which he leads, Abbas said that the Palestinians are ready to work with the Trump administration to bring peace to the region in accordance with the “two-state solution” and based on the Arab peace initiative.
He also thanked the Obama administration for abstaining last Friday in the vote in the UN Security Council on Resolution 2334, which calls on Israel to stop its construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.
Abbas further expressed hope that the international conference to be convened in Paris in mid-January will set an international mechanism and a schedule for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In this context, Abbas rejected once again any possible peace agreement in stages or the idea of establishing a Palestinian state with provisional borders.
“The settlement on the occupied land of the Palestinian state will go away”, he declared, and 2017 will be a year of international recognition of the Palestinian state.
Abbas continues to avoid direct negotiations with Israel, even though Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called on him to come to the negotiating table.
Instead, he has continuously imposed preconditions on talks, the last time being this past week, when he said that he would resume talks with Israel “the minute the Israeli government agrees to cease all settlement activities.”