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Ready for negotiations if East Jerusalem made capital: Abbas

Press Trust of India  |  Ramallah 

Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas today said he is ready to engage in negotiations with but made it clear that East should be the capital of Palestine, as he held talks with visiting Prime Minister

In December last year, US recognised as the capital of Israel, a controversial decision which angered the Palestinians, sparked protests in the and raised concern that it could further destabilise the already volatile region.

The unilateral US decision to declare as the capital of was challenged at the where 128 nations, including India, voted to turn down the move as "null and void".

The status of Jerusalem is the centre of Palestine's conflict with

The historic city is home to key religious sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, especially in East Jerusalem.

"I would like to re-assure our commitment to political action and negotiations as a means of achieving our national goals to freedom and independence in accordance with the two- along the lines of 1967 and internationally legitimate resolutions so that both Palestine and Israel can co-exist in peace and security, provided that East Jerusalem is the Capital of the state of Palestine," Abbas said at a joint press statement with Modi.

"We have not and will not reject negotiations ever and we have said and we still say that we are ready to engage in negotiations, the formation of a multi-lateral mechanism that is produced by an international peace convention is the most ideal way to broker such negotiations," the 82-year-old Palestinian leader said.

With a multi-lateral mechanism, Abbas was referring to a framework that would apparently replace the US' long-standing monopoly as a in the vexed peace talks.

Abbas received Modi who said that hopes for Palestine to soon become a sovereign and independent country in a peaceful environment.

Modi, the first Indian to make an official visit to Palestine, re-assured Abbas that "we are committed to take care of the cause and well-being of Palestinian people".

The two-envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully. The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as their future capital.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 19:25 IST