VIDEO - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he hopes the statements made by Prime Minster Ehud Olmert regarding sovereignty over Jerusalem, the territories and the Golan Heights will serve as a "deposit" for the next government.
Speaking to religious clerics on Wednesday evening to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Abbas said that if the views expressed by Olmert ahead of Rosh Hashana could be implemented "we could have peace in two days time."
It seems even Abbas was surprised by the candid interview Olmert granted Yedioth Aharonoth on the Jewish New Year as he prepares to leave office.
"(I am saying) what no previous Israeli leader has ever said: we should withdraw from almost all of the territories, including in east Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights," Olmert was quoted as saying.
Abbas met with Muslim, Christian and Samaritan leaders as the month of Ramadan winds to an end. "These days we are hearing new (rhetoric) from the Israeli prime minister, talk of the entire West Bank, the entire Golan and occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. These are the things that will bring peace to us. It would have been better had they been said from the start, and we hope he will leave them as a deposit for the next Israeli government.
He also addressed his most recent meeting with US President George W. Bush, calling it "positive and productive." Abbas said the visit was extremely important, "as we face a new era, especially in the United States. The most important thing we heard from President Bush is that the Palestinian side has upheld its commitments.
"This is the first time we've heard this from the American administration. And the things the current administration will leave the next administration will be positive.
"The next administration will be able to address the Palestinian issue quickly. President Bush said he hopes the Palestinian people will be able to celebrate the establishment its state next year."