Romania encourages resumption of Palestine-Israel direct negotiations: president

08:24, July 13, 2010      

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Romanian President Traian Basescu (R) meets with visiting President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas in Bucharest, capital of Romania, on July 12, 2010. Basescu said Monday that Romania encourages and supports the resumption of

Romanian President Traian Basescu said Monday that Romania encourages and supports the resumption of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel.

"We examined the possible resumption of the direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel, a thing we very strongly encourage and support," said Basescu at a joint press conference after talks with visiting President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas, he stressing that the correct solution is for the two states to live one near the other in peace and security.

Basescu pointed out that the "road map for peace" proposed by the Quartet and the Arab peace initiative should lie at the basis of the direct negotiations.

The Romanian head of state also added that Hamas must make a clear choice regarding elections in Palestine, a solution put forward by mediator Egypt and accepted by the PNA.

"We think Hamas has an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to strengthening the Palestinian state by accepting the proposals intermediated by Egypt," Basescu said.

"We are confident Romania will act both independently and within the European Union to drive the peace process," said Abbas for his part, adding that the Palestinian authorities are prepared to take part in direct negotiations as soon as they receive positive signals that progress can be made through them.

"We are doing everything in our power to ensure the unity of the Palestinian state and we wish Hamas would sign the Egyptian document to continue on the road towards elections," Abbas said.

Abbas began a two-day visit to Romania on Monday. The visit comes in the context in which on July 12 last year, the Romanian president paid a visit to Ramallah, PNA's capital city.

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