Read-out of the Secretary-General's Meeting with H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority
Rome, 2 June 2011The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority.
The Secretary-General expressed his concern at the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process, but said that he had been encouraged by the vision laid out in U.S. President Obama's recent speech on the Middle East.
President Abbas briefed the Secretary-General on efforts to form a new Palestinian Government. The Secretary-General noted that Palestinian reconciliation should be based on PLO commitments and Quartet principles. He said the reconciliation effort should be given a chance.
The Secretary-General said achieving the goal of an independent, viable Palestinian state was long overdue. The Secretary-General thanked President Abbas for outlining Palestinian thoughts and plans on working toward statehood and on what was required for a return to negotiations.
The Secretary-General stressed that now, more than ever, it was important that the Palestinians and Israel engage in real, genuine and meaningful negotiations. The Secretary-General said he knew it was the Palestinian National Authority's priority to return to negotiating table.
The Secretary-General also said he hoped any protests in the region on Sunday would be peaceful.
Readouts on 2 June 2011