Photo: AP
Abbas. No unity
Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Rice in PA
Photo: AP

Abbas: Talks on unity gov't at dead end

In meeting with US secretary of state, Palestinian president says that despite efforts to establish unity government in PA with Fatah and Hamas, there is no progress in negotiations. Rice says she hopes Abbas will succeed in establishing government which will be honored by international community

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the efforts to establish a unity government in the Palestinian Authority have reached a deadlock.


In a joint press conference in Jericho with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Palestinian leader said, "We want a government which will bring an end to the siege regardless of who is in the government."


During the meeting, Abbas suggested resuming talks with Israel, in a bid to reach a solution of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, according to the initiative of US President George W. Bush.


Abbas suggested that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be held in two routes, one which will deal with day-to-day problems and the other which will deal with the diplomatic issues.


The Palestinian presidents said that he stressed in the meeting the need to improve the Palestinians' lives, because the current situation is leading people to desperation.


"Desperation causes depression and depression leads to extremism," he said.

Rice and Abbas in Jericho (Photo: AFP)


Referring to the issue of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership wants the soldier to be released, but also wants Palestinian prisoners to be released simultaneously.


Rice thanked the Palestinian president for his leadership and efforts to establish a new Palestinian government and for the ceasefire. She said she hoped he would succeed in establishing a government which will honor the Palestinians in the international community, and expressed her hope that Abbas' ceasefire efforts would succeed and would lead to a comprehensive ceasefire.


'Palestinian state needed'

The secretary of state also said that she believed great efforts should be exerted in order to improve the life conditions of the Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip, and stop their suffering and humiliation.


She noted, however, that considering the current conditions and the current government, the international community is doing the maximum.


Rice also said that in meetings with Israeli officials she plans to focus on the positive and interesting aspects of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech.


I will talk to the Israelis about the need to accelerate the efforts which will lead to a dialogue, which will lead to a solution based on the two-state principle, she said.


Several times during the press conference, the US secretary of state stressed the need and the importance of establishing a Palestinian state.


Therefore a Palestinian government which will lead the Palestinian people is needed, she said, adding that the talks will also focus on the security aspect and the need to strengthen the Palestinian security organizations.


The security issue is very important, she said, and we have also discussed this issue in meetings we held in other countries in the region.


פרסום ראשון: 11.30.06, 14:25
 new comment
This will delete your current comment