- Planetary alignment peaks with celestial show this weekend
- UK fighters escort Pakistan plane to airport, two arrests
- Arizona jury foreman says believed Jodi Arias was abused
- Judge rules against 'America's toughest sheriff' in racial profiling lawsuit
- Justice Department defends journalist email search
U.S. is serious on Mideast peace - Abbas
TUNIS Nov 30 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday he was encouraged by what he called a serious U.S. effort to help forge a deal to establish a Palestinian state.
Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed at a conference hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush this week to try to reach a peace treaty and create a Palestinian state by the end of 2008 -- a target seen by sceptics as too ambitious.
"There are no guarantees. No one can give guarantees (about success) but I must say that we felt the seriousness of the U.S. administration ," Abbas told a news conference in Tunis, where he stopped on his way back from the United States.
"Among the signals about the U.S. seriousness, there is a draft submitted by the U.S. to the U.N Security Council to endorse the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue," he said.
"We have no details on that draft. We hope that the Americans would be a fair arbitrator to reach an accord."
The Palestinian leader is locked in a power struggle with Hamas Islamists who in June routed his forces in Gaza, part of territories occupied in the 1967 Middle East war where Abbas wants to establish a Palestinian state.
The next round of peace negotiations with Israel will be on Dec.12.
"My understanding is that 10 committees would be set up for the negotiations, each committee beginning from a prepared road whether on the matter of Jerusalem, refugees or security," Abbas said. (Reporting by Tarek Ammara; editing by Dominic Evans)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this