Abbas Says Willing to Meet Netanyahu, While Urging Boycott

YERUSHALAYIM -
Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Bin al Attiyah (L) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R) pose prior to meeting with the Arab League in Paris. (REUTERS/Michel Euler/Pool)
Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Bin al Attiyah (L) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R) pose prior to meeting with the Arab League in Paris. (REUTERS/Michel Euler/Pool)

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claims he is willing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu anytime to further the peace process, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The statement came during the Palestinian leader’s visit to Europe this week to lobby diplomats to pressure Israel to stop building in Yehudah and Shomron.

Abbas also told the German newspaper Rheinische Post that Israel was to blame for the so-far fruitless renewed talks, due to Netanyahu’s insistence on starting negotiations from scratch, rather than beginning with the concessions offered by previous Israeli governments.

On Wednesday, during a meeting in Brussels with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and former Belgian prime minister, Abbas called on Western firms to boycott businesses over the Green Line.

Since direct talks resumed in July, Israelis and Palestinians have held 13 meetings, three of which occurred over the last four days, Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference in Paris with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Atiyah, whose country just pledged $150 million in debt relief for the PA.

“The pace [of the talks] has intensified. All the core issues are on the table, and they [the Israelis and Palestinians] have been meeting with increased intensity,” Kerry said.

Later on Wednesday, Israel Radio reported that Abbas sent a letter of condolence to the family of terrorist Mohammed Asi, who was caught and killed by IDF forces on Tuesday. Asi planned an attack on a Tel Aviv bus a year ago.

“He [Asi] was killed at the hands of gang-members that is the army of the occupation,” Abbas wrote in the letter.