Abbas, Kerry discuss two-state solution in Paris meeting


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Paris and talked about ways to advance a two-state solution.

During Saturday afternoon’s meeting, the two leaders “discussed regional challenges and constructive ideas for the way forward to support our shared goal of a two-state solution,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

“Secretary Kerry stressed the United States’ commitment to this issue, and they agreed on the importance of continuing to work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal,” Kirby also said.

The Palestinian Authority news service Wafa, quoting Saeb Erekat, the former chief Palestinian peace negotiator and secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO, reported that Abbas told Kerry that he fully supports the French peace initiative, which would convene the two sides under the auspices of the international community.

Abbas in a separate meeting also told French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of his support for the initiative.

The P.A. leader said that amending the Arab peace initiative was not acceptable to the Palestinians. The proposal calls for full peace with the Arab countries in the region if Israel grants the Palestinians a state on all pre-1967 lines with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

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