Israel 'must back two-state future'

Palestinian official calls for pressure on Israel to abide by peace agreements.

    Erekat, left, urged international leaders to apply the same standards to Israel as they do to Hamas [EPA]

    Erekat called for international pressure on Israel to abide by previous agreements with the Palestinian Authority, in a manner similar to the boycott the Hamas movement faces overs its refusal to recognise Israel.

    "Failure to apply the same standards would mean pushing this region into the hands of extremists," he said.

    Obama meeting

    At their meeting, Abbas and Obama are expected to discuss the peace talks, which have been stalled since Israel launched a 22-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip killing at least 1,300 Palestinians. 

    The US is a close ally of Israel and has stated that it will work closely with the new Israeli administration under Benyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

    Netanyahu has, so far, remained silent about whether he envisions working towards a separate independent Palestinian state.

    George Mitchell, Obama's Middle East envoy, expected to visit Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt after he arrives in the region on Monday.

    Arab foreign ministers meeting in Jordan on Saturday pledged their support for the two-state solution.

    Nasser Judeh, Jordan's foreign minister, said the Arab position was "commitment to the Arab peace initiative, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the comprehensive and lasting solution that we all seek for the conflict in this region".

    King Abdullah of Jordan said he would convey that message to Obama when the two meet.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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