Palestinian Pres. calls for supporting French initiative to hold peace conf.

RAMALLAH, June 28 (KUNA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called for directly buttressing the French initiative, Arab and European efforts, and the Quartet’s endeavors to hold an international peace conference by the end of the year.
Speaking at a joint news conference late Tuesday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at Ramallah, Abbas stressed the need to set a mechanism with clear timeframes for holding negotiations and implementing all agreements to establish an independent Palestinian state on borders 1967 with East Jerusalem as the capital, solve the issues of refugees and release prisoners.
Abbas said that he confirmed to Ban that Palestinians reject transitional solutions and a state based on temporary borders.
“We have been seeking to peace based on the two-state solution, but continued occupation and settlement are the problem which runs counter to the aspired peace,” he added.
He noted that Palestinians look forward to ending injustice lasted for decades and practicing their right in determining their fate through implementing relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, the “principle of Land for Peace” and the Arab peace initiative without any amendments.
He stressed that the authority will go ahead with plans to join further international conventions to enhance Palestine’s capabilities, establish the force of law and respect human rights in accordance with international criteria.
He noted that he briefed Ban on efforts aiming to make the national unity, hold legislative and presidential elections, lift besiege imposed on the Gaza Strip, resume reconstruction and promote infrastructure in the Strip.
Meanwhile, Ban said he urged both Palestinian and Israeli sides, during meetings, to implement commitments on the ground and create appropriate atmospheres to resume purposeful negotiations.
He emphasized that the two-state solution is the only option for reaching an everlasting peace.
He said Palestinians are facing tough conditions including, checkpoints, entry permits, demolition operations, obstacles, economic problems, humiliating occupation and illegal settlements.
All these factors contribute to fading hopes of Palestinians, mainly youth, to establish an independent state.
As for his visit to the Strip today, Ban said he was astonished by steadfastness of people in the Strip despite wars and enormous difficulties facing them.
He called for accelerating reconstruction efforts, urging donor countries to honor their pledges.
“The closure of Gaza suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impede reconstruction effort, it is a collective punishment for which there must accountability,” he said.
“We need to speak openly of the challenges and the unacceptable difficulties that the people of Gaza face of the humiliation of the occupation and closure, but also the division between Gaza and the West Bank,” he added.
Ban also visited Rawabi city in Ramallah and lauded big developments there. He said that he didn’t expect to see such a “huge project” in Palestine. (end)

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