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Anastasiades visit to Palestine carries ‘hopeful message’

President Nicos Anastasiades with Mahmoud Abbas in New York in September

President Nicos Anastasiades` visit to Palestine carries a peaceful and hopeful message, according to Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Cyprus, Dr Walid Hasan.

In a written statement, Hasan said Anastasiades’ visit was taking place in the context of the historical relations between the two countries and the two peoples, and opened up new prospects of cooperation between Cyprus and Palestine.

Even though the trip on November 13 will be Anastasiades’ first official visit, Hasan said the Cyriot president had met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on several occasions. “Therefore, the upcoming visit of President Anastasiades is the culmination of the continuous communication that the two leaders have established, and is viewed by us, as carrying a peaceful and hopeful message,” Hasan said.

Anastasiades will be informed about the latest developments in Palestine and the wider region. The visit, the Ambassador said, “comes at a very critical and sensitive time for both sides. On the one hand, an optimistic and promising atmosphere is surrounding the Cypriot side, as for the past six months, intensive negotiations have been taking place and a solution to the Cyprus issue seems now to be more likely than ever”.

“On the other hand”, he said, it is difficult to revive the peace process in Palestine, since the situation with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unfortunately quite the opposite. “Against President Abbas’ extended hand towards peace and his commitment to the continuation of serious negotiations, within a clear and strict timeline, is the Israeli PM Netanyahu, who leads a government of settlers and extremists,” he added.

He said the Palestinian side welcomed Anastasiades’ initiative to revive the Mid-East peace process.

For the peace negotiations to resume, he added, “Israel must finally fulfill its obligations, starting by putting an end to its continuing illegal settlement policy on the territory of the State of Palestine. This is the main obstacle which destroys all possibilities for a two-state solution, the only viable and internationally agreed solution.”

Anastasiades will first visit Jordan , then Israel and then Palestine in the coming week. (CNA)

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