Abbas ready to meet Netanyahu 'any time'
Published Tuesday 28/01/2014 (updated) 28/01/2014 11:20
Abbas' interview aired on Israeli TV.
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he was ready to meet Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any time, Israeli media reported.
"Quote me on this: I am ready to meet Netanyahu any time," Abbas told Israeli TV.
Asked if he would address the Israeli parliament, or if he would allow Netanyahu to speak in the Palestinian one, Abbas responded that "We can consider this … I don't rule out the idea."
In Abbas' interview with the Institute for National Security Studies, which was published on Israel's Ynet news site and other Israeli media, he addressed Israeli security concerns and explained the PLO's view of ending the conflict.
"First, the two-state vision must become real, in which the State of Israel will live alongside the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders in security and stability," Abbas said.
"The second most important section is that East Jerusalem be the capital of the Palestinian state. Jerusalem will remain open to all religions with arrangements between the two parties."
He added: "I say to the Israeli people we are neighbors. We fought many wars against each other and I pray to God that these wars are over. We consider them and the use of force part of the past."
The deadline of a nine-month framework for US-brokered direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians is the end of April with no visible results, as both sides express seemingly irreconcilable demands.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has made 11 trips to Israel and the West Bank in his first year in office, is trying to hammer out a framework deal to chart the talks going forward by establishing guidelines on the most contentious issues.