World Bulletin / News Desk
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Abbas accused Netanyahu of seeking to normalize relations with Arab countries without withdrawing from Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967, in line with the terms of a 2002 Saudi-proposed peace initiative.
Abbas also urged the U.K. to take responsibility for the role it played in the creation of a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine through the 1917 "Balfour Declaration".
"We have raised this issue at the UN and will continue to raise it at all [international] forums," Abbas told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly, which just wrapped up in New York.
- Peace ‘difficult’
Asked if it was possible for Palestinian negotiators to hammer out a peace deal with a Netanyahu-led government, Abbas said: "Based on our experience, it's difficult to reach a solution with him."
Abbas added: "The Israeli PM has so far refused to use the phrase ‘two-state solution based on 1967 borders’, even though this [formula] has the support of the rest of the world and is referred to in several UN General Assembly resolutions".
"How can we reach an understanding in principle when there is no agreement on this issue?" the Palestinian president asked.
He went on to assert that Netanyahu had recently "evaded" a Russian proposal to host the two men for direct talks in Moscow.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoy asked us [i.e., the Palestinian leadership] regarding the possibility of a meeting with Netanyahu," Abbas said. "I said that I didn’t mind, and they [the Russians] conveyed my readiness to Netanyahu."
"But Netanyahu sent a delegation to Moscow, members of which claimed that we had not agreed to the meeting," he added. "The Russians replied by saying that I was ready to meet in Moscow on Sept. 8."
"Israeli officials, however, then asked the Russians to postpone the meeting, for which they have yet to set a new date," Abbas said.