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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ready to resume talks if Israel retracts annexation plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

SNS | New Delhi |

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that he was willing to resume peace negotiations with Israel as soon as the latter retracts its plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

In a telephonic conversation with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Abbas expressed appreciation for Norway’s principled support of the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its rejection of any unilateral steps that disregard international law.

Abbas said that Palestine “is ready to engage in serious negotiations with the Israeli government the moment it refrains from its unilateral annexation plan, to be sponsored by the Quartet and any other countries of the world”.

The Palestinian leader briefed Solberg on the latest developments in Palestine, and the consequences of the Israeli plan to annex portions of the occupied West Bank.

In response to that, Solberg expressed Norway’s support to achieving peace on the basis of the two-state solution, and its commitment to implement the international resolutions.

She noted that her country will continue to play its role in sponsoring the annual donor conference to help the Palestinian people build their institutions and economy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

The annexation plan was accepted with widespread condemnations by the Palestinians, most of the Arab world, and the international community.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged Israel on Monday to halt the “illegal” plan.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled the territory ever since, despite international criticism.