Nov 5 Following are highlights from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's speech on Thursday, in which he said he did not seek re-election and deplored deadlocked talks with Hamas and with Israel.
We pledged, us and the Israelis, with the participation and sponsorship of the international community, to reach a two-state solution. But month after month, year after year, there was procrastination and the increase of Jewish settlement and Israeli settlement on our land, which compromises the credibility of negotiations.
I want to remind you that we asked, side by side with the international community, that the government formed by Hamas in 2006 adhere to the signed agreements, as well as to the road map and to the relevant U.N. resolutions and the Arab peace initiative. A lot less is being asked of the current Israeli government. How is it the international community accepts that?
... AND HAMAS
The most dangerous thing that we have witnessed on the internal front has been the bloody coup that Hamas perpetrated in the Gaza Strip. Egypt started frank and much-appreciated efforts during the past period to reach an agreement between us and Hamas, which Hamas thwarted at every turn under false pretexts.
Isn't it time now for the Hamas leadership to revisit its destructive practices against the national project ... and think, for once, of the interests of the Palestinian people, whose problems cannot be solved by money coming from here or there, or by tunnels under the Gaza Strip?
"SURPRISE" AT U.S. POSITION
The stated position of the United States in relation to settlements and the Judaisation and annexation of Jerusalem are well-known and appreciated by us. However, we were surprised by their favouring of the Israeli position. But the problem which requires a solution is ... the ongoing Israeli settlement activities in all of the West Bank and especially in occupied East Jerusalem, which is facing an unprecedented change to its character.
HOPE FOR TWO-STATE SOLUTION
The sum of my experience is that reaching a two-state solution, Palestine and Israel living side by side in security and peace, is still possible, despite the dangers that we face and whose severity has increased recently.
NO WISH FOR RE-ELECTION
I have told our brethren in the PLO's executive committee and Fatah central committee that I have no intent of running in the upcoming presidential election, and this decision is not up for debate or bargaining at all. I hope they understand this position of mine, taking note that there are other steps that I will take.