NEW YORK (Ma'an) -- President Abbas said Monday that he hopes he can finalize an agreement to bring peace to Palestine.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meetings in New York, Abbas met with dozens of leaders of Jewish lobby groups, as well as former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and current US Mideast peace envoy Martin Indyk.
Abbas said that at the age of 78 he still hopes he can finalize a peace deal so that "Jews, Christians and Muslims can live in peace and safety in Palestine," a Ma'an correspondent said.
The US is a full partner in peace talks, which are due to last 9 months and address all final status issues, Abbas said.
In exchange for Israel's commitment to release 104 pre-Oslo prisoners, Abbas said he committed not to seek admission to any UN agencies or conventions during the period of talks.
If Israel withdraws from Arab territories occupied in 1967, 57 Arab and Muslim nations will normalize relations with Israel, he added.
"Make no mistake, no one gains more from reaching an agreement than Palestinians, and no one loses more if we fail to reach an agreement. Failure in not an option for us," Abbas said.
The president said that the Palestinian people have lost hope in peace negotiations as Israel's government continues to build settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Neither he, nor any other Palestinian leader, can give up Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, adding that the city should not be divided but rather open to all.
Asked by Jewish leaders in the US whether he was optimistic or pessimistic about negotiations, Abbas replied that he "dreams peace will prevail in Palestine."
"It is time to achieve peace in the holy land; it is time for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, to show the similarities of the greatness of these three faiths.
"It is time to replace hatred, conflict, bloodshed and incitement, with cooperation, building together and realizing the potential of Israelis and Palestinians in times of peace," Abbas said.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have nothing to do with reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, he added.
Peace talks aim to end the Israeli occupation while reconciliation aims to establish a Palestinian state.
Abbas highlighted that the US administration has demanded that the details of ongoing peace talks remain secret.