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Abbas vows no collapse of Palestinian Authority

PA leader restated his support for the two-state solution and insisted the Palestinian government was here to stay despite Israeli fears
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on 21 December 2015 in Athens (AFP)

The Palestinian president has said his Palestinian Authority is here to stay and will not dissolve, in an apparent answer to Israeli government warnings of its expected collapse.

In a speech at the Presidential Palace in Bethlehem on Wednesday, Mahmoud Abbas said: “We tell the Israelis that peace is the correct way, and we hope that you will understand us,” Abbas said. “We are here to stay and we will not leave.”

“The PA is our achievement and we will not give it up,” Abbas declared. “We want a divorce [from Israeli settlements] and to live in a two state solution with Wast Jerusalem as our capital.”

In his speech, Abbas lambasted the international community for forgetting about Palestine and busying themselves with organising conferences for countries in the region such as Libya and Syria.

“What about us?” he asked. “Our issue is much older."

Abbas did not forget to commend his strongest allies in the region, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Regarding the latter, he reiterated the PA’s unwavering support.

“We are with Saudi Arabia in everything it is doing and has done,” he said referring to the kingdom’s anti-terrorism policies.

“When [Saudi] established the coalition against terrorism, we joined willingly because we are against terrorism, violence and extremism.”

The president stated that efforts would continued to be made to reconcile with Hamas in Gaza, yet did not condemn the Egypt-imposed eight year siege on the coastal enclave.

“Egypt is free to shut its border crossings and do what it likes with its borders,” Abbas said.

“For eight years now we have been saying that we want a solution with our brothers in Gaza, so what is required? They [Hamas] do not want a unity government nor elections.”

Abbas began his speech by invoking the “unprecedented” agreement made with the Vatican in 2015, describing it as one of the “greatest” events to take place in 2015.

The treaty, which was signed in June, made official the Vatican’s recognition of the two-state solution and the Palestinian state.

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