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Abbas meets with British leaders
September 12, 2013, 3:51 am

Abbas, left, met with Cameron and other British leaders during his visit to London September 11 [Getty Images]

Abbas, left, met with Cameron and other British leaders during his visit to London September 11 [Getty Images]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in London Wednesday that they are eager to work together for a “stable and secure future” in the Middle East.

Abbas, who is on a four-day visit to the UK and France, has been trying to shore up support from both countries over Palestinian demands as Israel and Palestine appear to continue to discuss a prospective peace plan.

Hague reiterated Britain’s firm position that supports a negotiated agreement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, and Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states; and a just, fair and agreed solution for refugees.

“I reiterated our opposition to the building of settlements on occupied land. And I reiterated to President Abbas that Britain is ready to do all it can to support the Palestinians, Israelis and the United States to achieve this agreement and the lasting peace that the people of the region need and deserve,” Hague said.

The Palestinian President also briefly met with British Prime Minister David Cameron but no details of their meeting were released to the media at press time.

Abbas earlier met with British MPS at the House of commons and discussed the long-stalled Palestinian peace process with the British Minister of State in the Department for International Development Alan Duncan and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt.

All three meetings were closed to the press.

On Tuesday, Abbas met with the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Vincent Nichols.

On his first day of the trip, Abbas met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in a bid to advance the direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

This was Kerry’s first meeting with Abbas since Israel and Palestinians formally started their direct negotiations in July.

When the two sides last met in Jerusalem in early September, the Palestinian negotiating team criticized the Israelis for insisting on only discussing security issues and nothing else during the peace talks.

Late on Wednesday, Abbas left London for Paris.

Source: Agencies