World Bulletin / News Desk
The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to meet with Israelis leaders, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said upon learning he had been snubbed by the Palestinian leader in Brussels.
“On a personal level I find it strange that President Mahmoud Abbas, my friend Abu Mazen, refused again and again to meet with Israeli leaders,” Rivlin said.
Instead Abbas “turns again and again to the support of the international community,” Rivlin said.
“We can talk. We can talk directly and find a way to build confidence,” Rivlin said.
He spoke during a joint press conference with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Both Rivlin and Abbas are simultaneously visiting the European Union’s main governmental headquarters to talk with Mogherini and to address the European Parliament about the possibilities for jump-starting the peace process which has been frozen for the last two years.
But while they walked down the halls of the same buildings to discuss resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there was no interaction between the two men.
German politician Martin Schulz, who heads the European Parliament, attempted to arrange a meeting or even a small exchange between Abbas and Rivlin.
The Israeli President said he was eager for such an exchange, but Abbas rejected Schulz’ initiative.
“I was happy to welcome the initiative by the representative of the EU to set a meeting between me and President Abbas who is also visiting Brussels this very day.
“I was very sorry to learn that he rejected such a meeting.
We will not be able to build trust between us if we do not begin to speak directly and to look at what we can do and what can be done and not at what can not be done,” Rivlin said.
“There is a lot to be done,” he said.
“We must stay focused on the bilateral negotiations between the Palestinians and us. Direct talks is the only possible way to build trust and to resolve the conditions for a peace perspective between Palestinians and Israelis,” Rivlin said.
“There are no short cuts, no detours in the Middle East,” he added.