Breaking silence, Abbas says he’s willing to work with new Israeli government

In his first public remarks about the new government in Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he is willing to work with “whoever the Israeli people choose.”

“There was — and still is — a crisis of government in Israel. The new government, the change government, won by one vote. We will deal with whoever the Israeli people choose. So we will deal with them,” Abbas says.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wears a mask upon his arrival to head the Palestinian leadership meeting at his headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, Pool)

But Abbas says Ramallah’s cooperation relies on Israel “stopping its aggression and so on” before progress can be made on final status peace negotiations.

Abbas delivers the remarks at a multi-day conference of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, a senior deliberative body in the Palestinian movement.

The PA president opens his speech by mentioning a multilateral meeting between him and Benjamin Netanyahu in 2010, which would turn out to be the last between the two long-serving heads of state. Abbas says he left the meeting after Netanyahu suggested that Israeli troops control the borders of a future Palestinian state for 40 years to ensure Israeli security.

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