‘Palestinians want to join world to end conflict with Israel’

Ramallah, Feb 22 (IANS) The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman and told him the Palestinian leadership was working with the international community to hold an international peace conference to find a 5+1 formula and end the conflict with Israel.

The meeting on Sunday discussed the latest developments “in depth and detail”, Xinhua quoted Abbas’ spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeinah as saying.

Abu Rudeinah said that Abbas stressed the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to “go to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to condemn settlement expansion and end it.”

He added that the president addressed the efforts to form national consensus government to unify the Palestinian land and people, with regards to the latest round of talks between Abbas’s Fatah party and Islamic Hamas movement in Doha.

Abbas wants Kerry to talk to the Israelis and help release the striking prisoner Mohamed Al-Qiq, who has been on a hunger strike for 90 days protesting administrative detention, and to release bodies of Palestinians withheld by Israeli authorities, said Abu Rudeinah.

Kerry said the Obama administration will continue to exert its efforts till the last moment to maintain the two-states solution in order to achieve stability and security in the region.

The Palestinian presidency welcomed statements by French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius in which he said his country would resume efforts to organise an international conference to “rescue the two-states solution.”

Fabius said shall this initiative fail, “we must undertake our responsibility and recognise the Palestinian state.”

Israel rejected Fabius’ statements, saying it was an ultimatum that Palestinians would use to fail the talks.

The Israeli public radio reported that a senior US official said that direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israel are the best way to reach a mutual agreement.

The last round of peace talks stopped in April 2014, after nine months of meetings mediated by the US.

A wave of unrest broke out between Palestinians and Israel since last October, killing 180 Palestinians, according to the PNA health ministry, and over 30 Israelis.

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