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Abbas meets UN chief, urges end to settlements
Published Wednesday 01/02/2012 (updated) 02/02/2012 22:49
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President Mahmoud Abbas shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah February
1, 2012. (REUTERS/Fadi Arouri/Pool)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- President Abbas met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday and called on Israel to stop settlement building and lift the blockade on Gaza, Palestine TV reported.

The UN chief had earlier visited Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, urging the Israelis "to act in a constructive spirit and offer goodwill gestures which will create a positive dynamic."

Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership will discuss the recent exploratory talks in Amman at a follow up Arab League committee meeting on Feb. 4.

He stressed that Israel must lift the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip and steps must be taken to support the budget for UNRWA's work.

The UN chief praised Palestinian state-building and discussed the issue of settler violence.

Five sessions of exploratory talks ended in Jordan on Jan. 25 and Palestinian officials said Abbas planned to consult an Arab League follow-up committee next week on what to do next.

PLO official Nabil Shaath told the Russian deputy foreign minster on Wednesday that Israel had presented a "colonial vision" to the Palestinians as part of their proposal on security and borders.

Ban said he still hoped that Israel would present "its own concrete proposals on territory and security" as called for by an international Quartet of mediators - the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

Palestine's Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour told a UN Security Council briefing last week that Palestinians continued to hope for freedom and justice "despite all odds."

"The two-State solution is withering with every inch of Palestinian land seized by the occupying Power, every settlement unit constructed, every Israeli settler transferred, every wall erected, every home demolished and every Palestinian family displaced," he said.

Netanyahu on Sunday accused the Palestinians of refusing to discuss "Israel's security needs" at the Amman talks and described peace prospects as poor.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Julie / USA
02/02/2012 01:10
when UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon meets Abbas, he "called on Israel to stop settlement building and lift the blockade on Gaza" ... yet when he meets Netanyahoo, he asks him "to act in a constructive spirit and offer goodwill gestures which will create a positive dynamic." obviously, there's a MAJOR DISCREPANCY between the two!!!! so what's the reason for such difference...is it Ban or Ma'an?

2 ) John / USA
02/02/2012 09:41
The two state option is dead. Israeli society appears to be on an irreversible course of self destruction regardless of what Palestinian leaders do or say.

3 ) Business / Israel
02/02/2012 21:22
I find it amusing when Israel haters say that Israel, with a flourishing economy, one of the most highly educated populations in the world, high tech, a stable political order, agriculture, etc., is on the path to self destruction. If we are, what in the world is happening in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya? These places are disintegrating before your eyes. If the two state option is dead, due to Arab failure to come to grips with the reality of Israel, we shall give you one large Jewish state.

4 ) southparkbear / usa
04/02/2012 01:49
zoom out please, i wanna see their shoes
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