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Latest update : 2010-05-24

Abbas rules out return to armed struggle

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, looks at the different options on the table should indirect talks with Israel fail to bring about a breakthrough.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has ruled out the use of armed force against Israel if indirect talks with the Jewish state fail, its leader Mahmoud Abbas told FRANCE 24 in an interview on Monday.  

“It is possible that the negotiations [recently revived under US mediation] should fail," Abbas said, adding that Arab League member states had "foreseen this possibility".
 
“If we fail to reach an agreement through talks, we will have to turn to the UN Security Council for a resolution. I am opposed to any other alternative, in particular that of armed struggle,” he added.
 
The Palestinian leader said he believed the issue of a future Israeli-Palestinian border could be “resolved within one or two weeks” if both parties showed “sincere intent”. He suggested a two-state solution with an international military force ensuring security on both sides of the border.
 
“We have already said we have no problem [with a military presence along the border] as it’s an international force and not the Israeli military”, Abbas said.
 
The PA's president also rejected Israeli claims that his appeal to boycott products made in Israeli colonies was tantamount to inciting hatred against Israel. “There’s a difference between boycotting products from the Israeli state and boycotting products from Jewish colonies built on Palestinian land”, he explained.
 
“We have a trade deficit with Israel of three billion dollars, we have no problem with this country”, he concluded.

 

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