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Israeli TV exposes Abbas-Fayyad rift?

April 27, 2010 9:34 A.M. (Updated: April 28, 2010 10:12 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's Channel 2 aired an exclusive interview with President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday night, where the Palestinian president announced that he was not in favor of the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

The comments, billed by the Israeli press as contradictory to the plan of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whose Program of the Thirteenth Government (August 2009), is titled "Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State," and plans for the declaration of an independent state by 2011.

Analysts, however, say the media outlets are taking the comments out of context, noting Abbas continues to work for a negotiated settlement, particularly in light of the US push for peace since US President Barack Obama took office.

Abbas told the Channel 2 interviewer that "We stand by agreements," like the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap, both which Palestinians including Abbas charge Israel has violated since their ratification in 1993 and 2003 respectively.

The Palestinian president reiterated comments he made during a live televised speech at the third meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah on Sunday, saying he was prepared to negotiate with Israel and commit to a return to talks, noting he hoped to receive Arab League support to return to talks as of 1 May.

Though he did not reiterate his Sunday demand that Israel halt settlement construction in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, he has remained unmoved on the condition since talks were proposed in the winter.
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