Abbas says contacts with U.S. will continue for peace process


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the contacts between Palestine and U.S. began and will continue, in order to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Abbas made the remarks in an interview with Palestine’s public TV station following his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at White House on Wednesday.

Abbas said Trump and him talked about anti-terrorism and Palestine’s stance on the two-state solution.

“We also talked about how to find a resolution of the Palestinian cause,” said Abbas. He pointed that Trump “is excited and has a vision for political settlement and we work with him hoping to reach that settlement.”

The Palestinian President added:”Trump must discuss this issue with others, and when he sees the full picture and see how he will start, we will be ready to deal and work with him with all our powers.”

Abbas’s brief meeting with Trump is the first of its kind since the latter took office on Jan 20.

The last peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were halted at the end of March 2014 after nine months of U.S.-sponsored peace talks without achieving any progress to resolve decades of conflict between the two sides.

With regards to the issue of the hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails since April 17, Abbas said “the detainees have raised humanitarian demands, but, unfortunately, the Israeli government rejects them.”

Abbas held Israeli fully responsible for the lives and health conditions of those detainees, which he said it is wrongfully not fulfilling.

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Over 1,500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have begun an open ended hunger strike since April 17, which was the National Prisoners Day, most of whom belong to Fatah movement.

The striking detainees call for basic demands that include improving their living conditions, ending solitary confinement and administrative detention policy.