"Regrettably, Benjamin Netanyahu would come in last since he holds tough and almost ideological positions. He is the most rigid of Israeli leaders I have met starting with Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi LIvni," Abbas said during his trip back to Ramallah from the UN General Assembly in New York.
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Abbas (left) and Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)
During the interview, the Palestinian leader described the days preceding his statehood bid submission, saying that many European countries and even some Arab nations pressed him to abandon his full UN membership request to the Security Council.
Regarding the framework presented by the Quartet to return to negotiations, Abbas refused to say whether he approved of it, stating only that the Palestinian leadership would examine it in Ramallah.
He stressed that the Palestinians would be willing to examine any initiative, but would not discuss offers that fail to mention the 1967 borders and a halt to settlement construction.
Speaking to journalists on his plane back from New York, Abbas suggested that he was likely to reject the Quartet's peacemaking blueprint, saying he would not agree to any proposal that disregarded the Palestinian conditions for a resumption of peace talks.
He added that the Palestinian Authority wants to open the 1994 Paris Protocols – the financial addendum to the Oslo Accords – for review.
"The (current) arrangement is unfair and has articles which are keeping the Palestinian economy from stabilizing," he said, adding that the agreement "prevents land development… We aim to become independent of external (financial) assistance."
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