Abbas calls on Trump to work towards Palestinian state

PA chairman's office says president-elect should work towards a Palestinian state.

Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas's office on Wednesday reacted to Donald Trump’s election victory by calling on the president-elect to work towards a Palestinian state.

"We are ready to deal with the elected president on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders," Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told AFP.

He added that failure to resolve the decades-old conflict would mean "the unstable situation will continue in the region".

During the election campaign, Trump originally stated he would be “neutral and unpredictable” when it comes to the Israel-PA conflict. He later clarified his comments and said that while he would be happy to broker a peace deal, “in order for an agreement to happen, the Palestinians need to show interest. It's a little difficult to reach an agreement when the other side doesn't really want to talk to you.”

Trump’s adviser on Israel, David Friedman, has said the president-elect would not force a solution on Israel and would respect Israel’s democracy.

Reacting to Trump's victory, Abbas’s rival Hamas said it did not expect a change in what it described as U.S. "bias" against the Palestinians.

"The Palestinian people do not count much on any change in the U.S. presidency because the U.S. policy towards the Palestinian issue is a consistent policy on the basis of bias," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.

"Nevertheless, we hope that U.S. president Trump will re-evaluate this policy and rebalance it on the Palestinian issue," added Abu Zuhri.

Peace efforts between Israel and the PA have been at a standstill since a United States-led initiative collapsed in April 2014, when the PA breached the conditions of the talks by joining international institutions.

In recent months there have been attempts to restart the stalled peace process, mainly through France’s initiative to convene an international peace conference.

Israel objects to the initiative, saying that the only way to achieve peace is through direct talks, but the PA has urged France to go ahead with the initiative and ignore Israel’s rejection of it.


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