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Abbas: Only Alternative to Dialogue [with Opposition] is Dialogue - Palestinian PM Says Only Solution With Israel is Diplomatic One (Palestine Media Center- (PMC) 06/09/03) Source: http://www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=1&id=825
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Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas re-iterated the importance of continuing inter-Palestinian dialogue, saying he would continue efforts with Palestinian factions until an agreement is reached.
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“Palestinian dialogue is essential, since it is the only guarantee to establishing political stability,” Abbas, better known as Abu Mazen, said in his first press conference at the Palestine Media Center- (PMC) in Ramallah on Monday.
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The Palestinian Prime Minister also said that while he is not forcing anyone to talk with the PNA, any faction or group that does not engage in dialogue will be held responsible for such a decision.
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In response to criticisms over his Aqaba speech, PM Abbas said that the speech stipulated Palestinian commitments to the internationally- adopted “roadmap” to peace, and that it was discussed and agreed-upon with the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) prior to the peace summits in its capacity as “the decision-maker and because this is Palestinian democracy.”
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He also said it was made in full co-ordination with President Yasser Arafat, who he described as “the elected leader of the Palestinian people and a Nobel Prize Laureate.”
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Abu Mazen meanwhile emphasized that the “only alternative to dialogue is dialogue.”
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“Perhaps the Aqaba statement was misunderstood. We think that the dialogue is the only way to achieve our goal. Through this dialogue, we want to achieve calm, not civil war.” He added.
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In the presence of the freed-of-late detainee, Ahmad Jbara (Abu Sukar), who had served 27 years in Israeli prisons, the Palestinian premier also emphasized that “the issue of detainees is our top priority” and that that his government will exert its utmost of efforts to have more than 5,000 detainees released.
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The way to ensuring that Palestinian detainees are released, assassinations are halted and settlement-building is frozen is “through negotiations and political efforts”, Abu Mazen further stressed and called upon the US Administration to help alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.
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Abbas reiterated that he opposes all kinds of violence on Israelis and Palestinian alike, and stressed that there is a strong need for a “de-militarized Intifada” to reach a “hudna” or cease-fire to calm- down the situation.
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In another issue, PM Abu Mazen refused the reservations made by the Israeli government on the “roadmap” peace plan and confirmed that the “Palestinian right of return” is a final status issue of negotiations as stipulated therein.
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Moreover, he rejected all Israeli moves aimed at differentiating between “illegal” and “legal” settlements, saying that all settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied in June 1967 are illegal, as stipulated by international law. (PMC © 06/09/03)
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