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  Politics
Abbas clarifies "have not relinquished Right of Return"
04/11/2012   |   12:27 PM | World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
RAMALLAH, Nov 4 (KUNA) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas defended himself after harsh criticism following an interview he gave Israeli Channel 2 on Thursday, saying it was unfair to subject someone to such criticism "based on fragmented statements" from said interview.
In an interview with an Egyptian channel Saturday, Abbas argued he had never relinquished Palestinian refugees' "right to return" to their former homes inside what is now known as Israel. "All the harsh censure and abuse came before the full interview was even aired, and this is obvious bias. Some factions and some media bodies are fishing in muddy water." He further stressed, "I would give the same remarks in any interview, regardless of who sits across from me, be it a Palestinian, an Israeli, an American, or whatever." Abbas referred to a resolution of the Palestinian National Council in 1988 on recognition of United Nations resolutions 242 and 338, until the Arab Peace Initiative was introduced. "All Palestinian parties are agreed upon a two-state solution and the borders of 1967, and this includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad." The president further recalled that upon the last Palestinian reconciliation agreement in Cairo, the parties agreed on the borders of 1967, peaceful public resistance, and holding of elections, and the agreement was announced to the public.
As to his remark regarding his hometown of Safed, he said he was talking from a personal perspective and the remark does not in any way express an official stance in relation to Right of Return. "No one has the authority to relinquish this right. All international, Arab, and Islamic resolutions state a just and collectively agreed upon solution for the issue of the refugees, with reference to resolution 194. The expression 'collectively agreed upon" includes an agreement with Israel." Asked for comment regarding the third Intifada, Abbas told the Egyptian channel that the choice of armed resistance in the second Intifada was "a mistake." "When I ran in the elections, I told my people I was opposed to armed resistance and called for peaceful resistance and negotiations." The interview Abbas gave the Israeli channel brought on great controversy mostly focused on a statement by the PA president that he no longer has the right to return to his hometown, though he wished he could visit. The remark was taken by many as relinquishing Palestinian refugees' Right of Return, especially by Hamas.(end) nq.wsa KUNA 041227 Nov 12NNNN
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