President Abbas with his host, president of Turkmenistan, in Ashgabat. WAFA photo by Thayer Ghanaym.
ASHGABAT, November 14, 2016 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Monday reiterated his support for France’s peace initiative and welcomed Russia’s proposal for a trilateral meeting in Moscow.
During an official visit to Turkmenistan where Abbas met with his Turkmen counterpart President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Abbas called for the creation of a new mechanism to hold negotiations within a specified timeframe to implement the outcome of the international conference France had called for earlier this summer.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had proposed a trilateral meeting in Moscow with Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to restart direct negotiations and peace talks between them. While Abbas said he had accepted the invitation, Netanyahu wanted to wait.
Abbas briefed Berdimuhamedow on the difficult conditions Palestinians’ continue to suffer from the Israeli occupation and the ongoing settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“We want Jerusalem to be a free worship site for the followers of all three monotheistic religions.” Abbas explained, “Israel has no right to change the city’s identity and violate our Islamic and Christian holy places.”
He said that Palestinians are ready to work for peace on the basis of international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative in order for Palestine and Israel to live side by side in peace and security.
The two presidents also discussed former and new economic agreements and ways to support and encourage cooperation between the businessmen from the two countries.
The two sides also signed five cooperation agreements in the economic, tourism and higher education sectors.
Abbas arrived in Turkmenistan on Sunday evening for a three-day visit.