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Abbas: ‘I believe in peace, I do not want war’

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a Palestinian-Israeli delegation, on Wednesday, that he believes in peace more than ever before.

Abbas said, “I believe in peace more than ever before and I do not want war,” expressing hope that the next Israeli elections will produce “a government that seeks peace,” and stressing that he is ready to work with him to bring peace to the region.

Abbas’ remarks came at the opening ceremony of the Palestinian Forum for Freedom and Peace held at the presidential headquarters in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Madani, in charge of Palestinian relations with Israelis, former member of the Israeli Parliament, Talab al-Sane, the president of the Israeli Peace Parliament, Ran Cohen and other Palestinian and Israeli figures.

Abbas said, “This room is big enough to all followers of the three heavenly religions.”
He stressed “How can Palestine not accommodate it? We have lived in this country on the basis of love and peace. Why do others try to drag us into violence and hatred?”

He added, “This conference came late, but it is better than it never. It is a product of working with the peace-loving camps in Palestine and Israel. We will not allow extremist minds seeking violence to end peace.”

Abbas continued, “This conference is a good start for the coexistence of the two peoples in peace, especially in light of the deteriorating situation in the region.”

He also praised the efforts by this forum to find a language of dialogue between the two peoples, the language of peace, and noted, “Our recognition of Israel after the Oslo agreement reflects our deep belief in the peace we are waiting for so far. We want to live in peace on the basis of a two-state solution for the two peoples according to international resolutions.”

“We hoped that the negotiations between us and the Israeli side would continue, but Israeli extremism killed (former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak) Rabin and dragged this region into violence. They want more extremism by shedding the blood of our children through repeated attacks on our people.”

Abbas expressed hope that “the next Israeli elections will produce a government that seeks peace, and we will have our hand extended to work with it to bring peace to the region and to all the peoples of the world. But without solving the Palestinian issue, there will not be stability and security, not in this region nor in the world.”

[source: Maan news]
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