Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Abbas washing himself clean of Blame: Obama is 'doing nothing' for Middle East peace

(DPA,Haaretz).Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas complained that U.S. President Barack Obama "is doing nothing for the peace process" in the Middle East so far.

"For now he is doing nothing, but he has invited us to revive the peace process. I hope that in the future he can play a more important role," Abbas said in an interview published Tuesday by the Argentine daily Clarin.

Instead, Abbas again called upon Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to take a more active role as mediator in the Middle East.

"He can do it, because he has good relations with the two parties in the conflict and I think he can help," Abbas expressed the hope that "the United States [will] put pressure on the Israelis to abide by international law, so that the roadmap can be implemented."

He anticipated, however, that the Palestinians will not make any more concessions than they have already made.

"We accepted to have only 22 per cent of Palestine, and that is the biggest concession. And we also accepted that Israel had 78 per cent. So, what kind of concessions are they expecting from us?" he said.

"Now we are ready to announce our independence if the Israelis will allow us to," he said.

Abbas said, however, that independence would not be declared unilaterally.

"[The Israelis] are trying to say that we the Palestinians are seeking a unilateral decision. We are not seeking a unilateral decision," he said.