- Title: WEST BANK: Spanish FM meets with Palestinian President in the West Bank
- Date: 14th September 2008
- Summary: (NIGHT SHOTS) (BN15) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 13, 2008) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PALESTINIAN PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUND PALESTINIAN FLAG SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER MIGUEL MORATINOS ARRIVING AT PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUND PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS SITTING IN MEETING MORATINOS IN MEETING WIDE OF LEADERS SITTING LEADERS ENTERING PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS SAYING: "We will talk to President Bush (referring to Abbas' visit to the US planed for end of the month) about where we have reached in our negotiations with the Israelis and point out the points of agreement and disagreement. We hope from that the new American administration will do what the previous one did, to blame this side or that. And if we assume we do not reach an agreement before the end of the year, we urge the new U.S. administration to immediately follow up the peace process and treat it as a priority." REPORTER WRITING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER MIGUEL MORATINOS SAYING: ****EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: APPROXIMATE TRANSLATION**** "It is the policy of Spain and the European Union to denounce any settlement expansion, and make any effort necessary to stop and freeze any expansion of the settlements." CAMERAMAN AT CONFERENCE WIDE OF LEADERS
- Embargoed: 29th September 2008 13:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA83HKOSSRVX30MYMJNUSKNSE2P
- Story Text: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday (September 13) he doubted a deal with Israel could be reached before President George W. Bush leaves office and urged the new U.S. administration to pursue peace efforts.
Abbas said he would continue to exert maximum effort to try to achieve a comprehensive deal that would end the decades-old conflict with Israel by the end of this year, and reiterated his rejection to reaching any new interim peace deals or an accord that would leave out any of the core issues under negotiation.
"If we assume we do not reach an agreement, we urge the new U.S.
administration to immediately follow up the peace process and treat it as a priority," Abbas told reporters in his office in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah during a press conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.
Palestinian negotiators said the sides would continue negotiating to settle sensitive final status issues that include the fate of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements, borders and security until Bush leaves office in January and until the scandal-hit Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's last day in office, and with whoever succeeds him.
Israeli and Palestinian officials said gaps remained on issues that would determine the nature of the future Palestinian state and a final deal was unlikely before the end of 2008.
Israeli police have recommended indicting Olmert for corruption. The prime minister said he would resign after his Kadima party chooses a successor in a leadership contest next week. He has denied wrongdoing in response to police allegations he submitted double travel receipts and accepted cash envelopes from a U.S. Jewish fundraiser.
Abbas vowed to continue efforts to reach a comprehensive deal with Israel, and Olmert has also said he would pursue the U.S.-brokered peace talks for as long as he remains in office, but his expected departure has cast doubt on the negotiations launched at an Annapolis summit last November.
Despite his plans to resign, Olmert would stay on as caretaker prime minister until a successor forms a new government, or a snap parliamentary election is held, a process that could take weeks or months.
Palestinian officials said Abbas would meet Bush on September 26 in Washington to review the peace process and urge this administration to refrain from blaming any side for failure to reach agreement by the end of this year, a target date set by Bush at Annapolis.
Abbas said he would not accept interim or partial deals just to meet the deadline.
"We will talk to President Bush about where we have reached in our negotiations with the Israelis and point out the points of agreement and disagreement," Abbas said, adding the Palestinians are not seeking an interim agreement or an agreement that does not include the six core issues.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos said it was the policy of Spain and the European Union to reject any settlement expansion.
During his 2 day stay in the region, Moratinos will hold meetings with many Israeli officials- among them Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Moratinos has been a supporter of the Middle East peace process and participated in the US hosted Annapolis summit in November 2007.
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