Blair, Abbas discuss peace talks and Palestinian unity
RAMALLAH / ANKARA
Palestinian President Abbas (L) and Quartet envoy Blair discuss the peace process and Palestinian reconciliation.Middle East peace Quartet envoy Tony Blair met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Amman on Feb. 11 to discuss the stalled peace process, ahead of Abbas’ visit to Arab League in Cairo in which he will update the Arab League’s follow-up committee on the peace process yesterday.
A statement said Blair reaffirmed to Abbas the Quartet, which groups the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia, and international community’s “commitment” to the peace process, “and the need to launch credible and serious negotiations in order to reach the two-state solution.”
The British former premier also briefed Abbas on his talks with the Israeli government “on a range of issues.” A statement from Abbas’s office carried by the official Palestinian news agency said the two discussed “developments in the peace process in light of Israeli intransigence to not halt settlement activity.”
Abbas was expected to update the Arab League’s follow-up committee on the peace process in Cairo yesterday.
Call from Turkish PM
Last month’s five rounds of “exploratory talks” between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, sponsored by the peacemaking Quartet, ended without a deal to continue discussions or return to direct negotiations. The Palestinians have accused Israel of failing to present proposals on borders and security.
Blair and Abbas also discussed the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, Blair’s bureau said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on phone, sources said Feb. 10. Abbas briefed Erdoğan about efforts aimed at securing national reconciliation between Palestinian groups, sources said. Erdoğan told Abbas that he welcomed the intensification of efforts to strengthen unity and solidarity between Palestinians.
Compiled from AFP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.