Abbas rejects establishing state with temporary borders

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his rejection on Sunday to the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state with temporary borders.

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Abbas made the statement during a two-day-long meeting of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which kicked off on Sunday evening at his headquarters in Ramallah.

The PCC is the highest Palestinian institution that links the PLO executive committee and the Palestinian National Council (PNC)or the PLO parliament in exile.

“The idea of offering us a state with temporary borders is totally rejected, and (we) will keep rejecting it, although others had accepted it,” said Abbas.

Abbas reviewed the role of the PLO since it was founded in 1964and highlighted the recent visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem, saying “we agreed with President Bush to work on three major tracks.”

“The first track is the peace negotiations on permanent status issues, which will start on Monday. The second is the implementation of the first phase of the roadmap plan for peace and the third is the track of economy and security,” he said.

In addition to the three major tracks, Bush also called upon “the Arab countries to reach out to Israel” in Jerusalem on Thursday after holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on his landmark visit to the region.

About the situation in Gaza, Abbas said that Gaza “is living in the worst ever conditions due to the coup that Hamas movement carried out in the Gaza Strip.”

Abbas conditioned the resumption of dialogue with Hamas, sayingt hat “It should first end its coup and regret it. Second it should recognize the PLO and the agreement it had signed, and the third is to go for early elections.”

“These are our conditions and we are not going to change them,” said Abbas, who slammed Gaza militants for constantly launching homemade rockets’ attacks against Israel.

Abbas said that each time Israel opens one crossing to ease people’s life in Gaza, the militants come and fire rockets at the crossing.

He promised to continue financial support to 77,000 civil servants in the Gaza Strip, adding that “the Gazans would be taxed free due to the hard and harsh living conditions they have after Hamas coup seven months ago.”

Hamas chased out rival Fatah movement loyal to Abbas and bloodily wrestled control of the Gaza Strip in mid June.