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Report: Hawkish new Israel president ready to meet Abbas
Published Thursday 26/06/2014 (updated) 27/06/2014 10:28
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Israel's hawkish president-elect Reuven Rivlin delivers a speech
following elections at the Knesset in Jerusalem on June 10, 2014
(AFP/File Gali Tibbon)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's hawkish president-elect Reuven Rivlin, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, has said he is willing to meet counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, a newspaper reported Thursday.

"I met with Abu Mazen (Abbas) in the past on a number of occasions and I will also meet with him in the future," the Yediot Aharonot newspaper quoted Rivlin as saying.

"We both realize that direct dialogue is the condition for our Middle East to be a safe place," he said on Wednesday at a three-day conference in Jerusalem for Israeli media.

Rivlin said he received a letter from Abbas after he was elected on June 10 to succeed elder statesman Shimon Peres, whose term ends in late July.

Yediot published what it said was an image of the letter, in Arabic, which congratulated Rivlin and called for a peace agreement and an independent Palestine.

The incoming president is a staunch backer of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and has never hidden his opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Settlements were a key issue that derailed the latest round of US-backed peace talks in April after nine months of fruitless negotiations.

Rivlin, a former military intelligence officer and lawyer by profession, was quoted in 2010 as saying he would "rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution."
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1 ) Bemused / New Zealand
26/06/2014 15:51
Dream on, Rivlin - if you are lucky, Palestine MIGHT accept you as a citizen in the Palestinian state that existed before 1948.

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
26/06/2014 16:13
Looking at his picture, the man looks insane. I wonder.... how many Palestinians did he killed during his "intelligence" period?

3 ) Julie / USA
26/06/2014 17:40
wow, now we have this clown, Rivlin - a lawyer who breaks international law as a 'staunch backer of illegal settlements'. that pretty much tells the entire world the so-called state of izrael is 1) criminal, 2) does not and will never want peace, 3) Palestinians will continue to be murdered, tortured, violated & abused by izrael's state-sponsored terrorism. Abbas better get off his dreamy butt hoping izrael will recognize them as humans and seek prosecution of all izraeli crimes at the ICC !!

4 ) Charlie / Sweden
26/06/2014 18:42
Well, he is not totaly wrong. An one state solution, with equal rights, deserve to be discussed. Discussed in Palestine and in Israel.

5 ) Hansi / CH
26/06/2014 19:04
This man a former military intelligence officer ! Ariel Sharon the second,(http://www.rense.com/general58/killins.htm)he is just one more of those Zio Settler war criminals that wants today rather than tomorrow to wipe palestine out of the map and murder the entire Palestinian nation.He should really prefer to hide in his hole.....

6 ) AKeenReader / UK
26/06/2014 19:48
Israeli's elects settlers, rapists, terrorists, people who incite hate to the post of President. No chance in hell for peace with the palestinains.

7 ) Outlier / USA
27/06/2014 01:39
1,2, Palestinians leaders would have it so much easier if they only talked with "friends," but at the current rate of attrition, they won't have anyone at all to talk with soon - maybe not even each other.

8 ) JoeFattal / USA
27/06/2014 22:55
Abbas is in a very strong political position. Israel wants Hamas out of the unity, and if Abbas can keep Hamas quiet for awhile and out of any negotiations he can get his way, and the Kidnappers if that story is believable can bargain their way out to the nearest bank. Politically the Palestinians have a winning egde. Israel is on the losing end. You can tell by the way they act in their search.
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