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    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, left, walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, with Special Middle East Peace Envoy, former Sen. George Mitchell, behind center, at his residence in Jerusalem, Israel Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010

    Abbas Urges Netanyahu to Believe in Two-State Solution to Achieve Peace

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)
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    The Palestinian president expressed readiness to hold direct dialogue with Israel.

    JERICHO (Sputnik) — Palestine is ready for direct dialogue with Israel, but the subject of the conversation remains an important sticking point, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday.

    "We are ready for this contact and have been for many years, ready for direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel," Abbas said on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit.

    "But the most important thing is what subject will our dialogue be on, because [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu should understand that until he starts to believe in the [two-]state solution, no peace can be achieved," Abbas said.

    Palestine Ready for Peace With Israel Under Existing Int'l Agreements

    Palestine is always ready for a peace deal with Israel given compliance with all international agreements on the matter, Abbas said.

    "We are always ready for peace with Israel based on the two-state solution, and given all internationally recognized solutions are observed, and on the basis of the Arab peace initiative. And for that, we have always been saying that we are willing to accept Israeli statehood, but this should not be for free from our side," Abbas said following the Russian-Palestinian talks.

    He also said that the sides had discussed the upcoming international conference in France and Russian initiative on the trilateral talks.

    He stressed his belief in the permanent role Russia must have in the peace process in the region.

    Palestinians seek the diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and builds settlements on the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)

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    Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Dmitry Medvedev, Palestine, Israel
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