Netanyahu, Abbas to Meet Again in Two Weeks to Pursue Peace Talks
- Leaders to hold negotiations every two weeks
- Talks described as “productive”
- Both leaders condemn Iran-backed Hamas terrorist attacks
WASHINGTON, Sept 2 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to meet again in Egypt Sept 14 -15 and at regular two-week intervals after that to continue peace talks.
U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell told reporters: “They agreed that for these negotiations to succeed, [the talks] must be kept private and treated with sensitivity."
Earlier, in public statements before going into private session with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Netanyahu and Abbas condemned the terrorist attacks that in the past two days claimed the lives of four Israeli civilians and left two more wounded.
Iran-backed Hamas claimed responsibility for the murders.
In his opening statement, Netanyahu said: “Just as you expect us to be ready to recognize a Palestinian state as the nation state of the Palestinian people, we expect you to be prepared to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
“There are more than a million non-Jews living in Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people, who have full civil rights. There is no contradiction between the nation state that guarantees the national rights of the majority and guaranteeing the civil rights, the full civil equality, of the minority.”
Abbas responded: “Yesterday we condemned the operations that were carried out. We did not only condemn them, but we also followed the perpetrators, and we were able to find the car that was used and to arrest those who sold and bought the car.
“And we will continue all our efforts to take security measures in order to find the perpetrators. We consider that security is of essence, is vital for both of us. And we cannot allow for anyone to do anything that would undermine your security and our security.”
Mitchell said Netanyahu and Abbas had agreed to seek a “framework” accord as part of their peace talks. The accord would lay out the compromises needed to complete a comprehensive peace treaty within a year, which all parties have set as a target to complete a comprehensive and final peace agreement.