Abbas tells South African Jews he is committed to two-state solution

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that he is committed to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, during a meeting with South African Jewish leaders.

The Palestinian Authority president met Wednesday with leaders of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and South African Zionist Federation in Pretoria, in the presence of South African President Jacob Zuma.

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The two groups said in a statement that they “welcome the confirmation by President Abbas that he and his government remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict with Israel and to working with the Israeli government towards attaining that goal.”

The statement also said that the groups “further support all efforts by the South African government aimed at bringing the respective parties together and taking the process forward.”

The discussion focused on Abbas’ views on what form a final peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians should take and what needs to be done to achieve this.

This, Abbas said, means pursuing a negotiated solution aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel based on the 1967 borders, where necessary with land swaps.

During a joint news conference with Abbas, Zuma called for an end to “all settlement activities,” and offered to help restart peace talks, saying he had appointed two envoys for that purpose.