Only Abbas able to make peace: former Israel PM Olmert

Only Abbas able to make peace: former Israel PM Olmert

US President George W. Bush applauds then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (R) and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (C) at a peace conference on November 27, 2007

Mahmud Abbas is the only Palestinian leader capable of striking a peace deal with Israel, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said in comments broadcast Saturday after the two men met in Paris.

“The only person among the Palestinian people who is capable of doing it and who proved in the past that he is completely committed to do it is Dr Mahmud Abbas, and that’s why I have an immense respect for him,” he said.

He was speaking to the official television station of the Abbas-headed Palestinian Authority after their meeting.

US-brokered peace talks have been frozen since 2014.

Olmert headed the Israeli government from 2006 to 2009, when a bid to agree on a two-state solution collapsed with Israeli officials accusing Abbas of rejecting a plan proposed by Olmert.

“President Abbas never said ‘no’ to my plan, never,” said Olmert.

The former Israeli leader was released from prison in July 2017 after serving 16 months for corruption during his term as mayor of Jerusalem.


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