Abbas: Palestinian unity and peace with Israel are not mutually exclusive
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that the recently announced national reconciliation agreement between the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas would contribute to negotiations with Israel and achieving a two-state solution.
Abbas said that there is no contradiction between reconciliation and negotiation "because we are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace based on the two-state solution and international resolutions."
"Unity of the land and people will empower and contribute to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," he added.
Abbas said that that overcoming the division between the rival Palestinian political parties will help the Palestinian negotiators reach the two-state solution, and he stressed that the move had both Arab and international support.
Abbas' statement come hours after the two largest Palestinian political groupings -- the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas -- announced a national reconciliation deal that could potentially end seven years of political division.