Deal with Hamas boosts two-state solution: Abbas

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 23, 2014 19:50 hrs

Ramallah, April 24 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the reconciliation deal reached with his rival Hamas movement will empower the principle of the two-state solution.

Abbas said in an statement that the reconciliation agreement reached with Hamas, which controlled the Gaza Strip by force in 2007, doesn't at all contradict with the peace negotiations with Israel, Xinhua reported.

Earlier, a high-ranking delegation representing Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) agreed in two separate meetings held Tuesday and Wednesday to immediately implement two previous reconciliation deals.

The two agreements, signed between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah Party in Cairo in 2011 and in Qatar in 2012, called for forming a six-month transitional unity government and preparing for holding general elections.

"It is in the Palestinian people's interests to restore unity of land and unity of people," said Abbas in statement, adding "this unity will boost the establishment of the Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital".

He clarified that the inter-Palestinian reconciliation "is backed by the Arab states and the international community, and will boost the position of the Palestinian negotiators to achieve the two-state solution".

Abbas said that reaching a deal with Hamas would not negatively influence the negotiations or contradict with it.

"There is no contradiction at all as long as we are committed to the peace talks with Israel and we are totally committed to establishing a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state principle," said Abbas.

Israeli negotiators have informed their Palestinian counterparts that they have called off a planned meeting scheduled for Wednesday night in protest at a fresh reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas rival groups, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.

"The Israeli side has officially told us that tonight meeting was canceled after Hamas movement and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) have signed a reconciliation deal," the official added.

A meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators was supposed to be held late Wednesday in Jerusalem to discuss the worsening peace negotiations.

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