Abbas blasts Israel over Annapolis


Bethlehem : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday voiced concern over Israeli failure to meet the principles of the US Annapolis peace conference, mainly settlement suspension.

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Abbas was speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Bethlehem.

He added that Israel had not yet responded to the Arab peace initiative, which envisions just and total peace between Israel and the Arab world and a viable Palestinian state.

However, he reiterated Palestinian support for the Middle East Roadmap peace plan, especially in security reforms in the Palestinian territories, calling on Israel to stop its aggressions.

Concerning Brown’s visit, he said the tour came at a time when the region was witnessing fresh developments, including the resumption of Israeli-Syrian peace talks, Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap deal and truce in Gaza.

The Palestinian leader also thanked the British government for supporting the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and boosting investment in the Palestinian territories.

For his part, Brown reiterated his country’s support for a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 border and Israel’s security, favoring Jerusalem as a capital of Israel and Palestine.

Brown has announced USD 60 million of additional financial support for the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The prime minister also promised further support in training the Palestinian police.
The money pledged by the prime minister is part of ongoing financial backing for economic and social development in the territories.

“The prospect, in my view, of economic prosperity in the future is another impetus for the peace talks to be successful,” he said.

Brown also said he would host an investment conference in London in autumn in order to support the Palestinian people.