Abu Mazen: "We ask to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel."

By Al Ayyam

via Al Ayyam (translated from Arabic by Geneva Initiative staff, for Arabic original click here)
In a declaration sent to the United Nations headquarters in New York and Geneva, the Palestinian President detailed his principles for a peace agreement with Israel, which are very similar to the principles of the Geneva Accord: a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, a recognition of Israel's right to live in peace and security and an agreed-upon solution to the refugee issue. He also stated that "the UN's recognition of a Palestinian state will not replace negotiations with Israel."
On Tuesday, November 29, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a declaration to Palestinian delegates at the United Nations headquarters in New York and Geneva, which was read before senior diplomats on the occasion of an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The outline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Abbas presented reminds of the Geneva Accord model. Abbas's declaration circulated in the newspaper "Al-Ayyam", which is associated with the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas declared that "Palestine will be democratic and pluralistic, and will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of religion or race. It will be a peaceful country that will request to live in peace and security alongside Israel and the other countries in the region." Addressing Palestinian attempts to upgrade their status at the UN, Abu Mazen said that "recognition of a Palestinian state will not replace negotiations, but rather is a factor that will help negotiations, should the Israeli government intend to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders. The decision to request UN membership is our legitimate right based on the partition plan of November 29, 1947. This is not a unilateral move."
Responding to the accusation that the Palestinian efforts at the UN were meant to deepen the international campaign to delegitimize Israel, Abbas said: "we are not interested in hurting Israel's legitimacy, but we want to hurt the legitimacy of the settlements and Israel's control of our occupied lands, which it and other countries treat as disputed territory."
The Palestinian President added that "for many years we have expressed our desire to reach a solution to the conflict with Israel, one that will ensure justice wherever possible. The solution will lean on international decisions and initiatives to build a Palestinian state on 22% of historical Palestinian land, with its capital in East Jerusalem, and a just and agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugees issue in accordance with UN Resolution 194."
Abbas accused Israel of continuing to build settlements on Palestinian land, while the Palestinians are willing to reach a two-state solution based on land for peace. Likewise, he attacked the Israeli government for refusing to send Palestinian money to the Palestinian Authority.
To read full article in Arabic, click here.