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Abbas: New government within weeks

May 26, 2013 9:50 A.M. (Updated: May 30, 2013 5:51 P.M.)
By: Nasser Laham
AMMAN, Jordan (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that the leadership in Ramallah was working to form a unity government within weeks.

“It may need the coming two weeks,” Abbas told Ma'an on the sidelines of a global economic forum in Jordan.

At the conference, Abbas met the secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, and other Palestinian economists and businessmen.

On Saturday, Abbas said that peace with Israel was still possible and called for international investment in Palestine, as the World Economic Forum convened at a Jordanian Dead Sea resort.

"We still say we want a comprehensive and just peace, and we want to have two states living side by side in accordance with international resolutions, the Road Map plan and the Arab Peace Initiative," Abbas said during the opening session.

"Everybody knows we have committed to the agreements we signed and we have already fulfilled our obligations," he added.

Abbas urged businessmen from Arab countries to invest in Palestine and create partnerships with Palestinian business leaders.

"Israel has prevented us from exploiting our lands and natural resources, however, Palestine has promising opportunities and vast horizons in the fields of tourism, agriculture, industry, information technology, power generation, petroleum, natural gas, potassium and other fields," Abbas said.

Economic investments support peace and stability in the region, he added.

Directly addressing Israel, the president said that "ending the occupation of our land, releasing our prisoners, evacuating settlers and dismantling the apartheid wall are the elements that will make peace and security for you and for us.

"This is doable, so let's make peace a reality on the ground for our present and future generations to enjoy."

Abbas said he hoped that efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry would result in an end to Israel's occupation and guarantee a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa is convening from May 24-26 in Jordan, and brings together over 900 government, industry, media, civil society and youth officials to discuss advancing conditions for economic growth.
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