World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said that Palestinians are committed to a peace initiative proposed by Arab countries in 2002 guaranteeing Arab recognition of Israel in return for Israel's pullout from occupied Palestinian territories.
"The initiative makes it necessary for Arab countries to recognize Israel and establish normal relations with it if it withdraws from Palestinian territories," Abbas told a press conference with Pope Francis of the Vatican.
He lashed out at Israeli practices in the Palestinian territories, particularly in Al-Quds [occupied East Jerusalem], saying these practices led to the eviction of Palestinian families from the holy city.
Abbas dismissed unrelenting Israeli violations against Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city, saying Palestinians pin hopes on the efforts of the Pope to retain their usurped rights.
"We are not demanding the impossible your holiness," Abbas said, addressing the Pope. "Our people want to live in peace."
He hoped Al-Quds, the capital of the future Palestinian state, would be an open city for followers of all monolithic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Abbas said he had briefed Pope Francis about developments in peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis and also about stumbling blocks on the way of peace.
He cited the notorious separation barrier built by Israel across the occupied Palestinian territories.
"We want to build bridges of communication and dialogue instead," Abbas said.Last Mod: 25 Mayıs 2014, 13:38