Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Abbas Stresses Need for Multiple Mediations to Achieve Peace

Abbas Stresses Need for Multiple Mediations to Achieve Peace

Thursday, 1 February, 2018 - 08:45
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, meets with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank Town of Ramallah, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Atef Safadi/Pool Photo via AP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that any new mediation to achieve peace must be multilateral, and must include the International Quartet and a number of Arab and European countries.

He added that he was relying on the German and French roles in the European Union, along with the United States, to achieve peace in the region.

Abbas’ remarks came during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday in Ramallah.

He noted that the political process aimed at achieving peace was currently in “a severe predicament”, adding that he was committed to a culture of peace.

“We are committed to the culture of peace, despite the pressures we are facing, such as the issue of Jerusalem and the UNRWA funding; we reaffirm our fight against terrorism everywhere,” he stated.

Abbas renewed his adherence to the two-state solution and to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital based on the 1967 borders, “so that Palestine and Israel can live in security and stability.”

“We count on the role of Germany and France through the European Union, and with the United States to reach a lasting and just peace in the region,” he said, addressing the German foreign minister.

“Mediation to achieve peace must be multiple from the quartet and a number of Arab and European countries,” he added.

Gabriel, for his part, said that the political process in the Middle East was going through a difficult stage.

“The decision of the United States on the city of Jerusalem was made out of the peace negotiations and this gives the impression that we are moving away from everything that was agreed upon in Oslo agreement,” he said.

Gabriel emphasized his country’s support for the two-state solution to ensure the establishment of peace in the region, adding: “There is no practical or other political option to reach peace.”

He also criticized the US decision to cut its aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

“It’s a bad thing, because we have to try to ensure that the conditions of refugees in the region do not worsen,” he said.

Editor Picks