Abbas gives ‘reasonable’ 3-year plan for Israeli withdrawal

Updated 15 May 2014
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Abbas gives ‘reasonable’ 3-year plan for Israeli withdrawal

TEL AVIV: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory should take place within a three-year period under any final Middle East peace deal.
“Those who are proposing 10 to 15 years (before a withdrawal) do not want to withdraw at all,” Abbas said in an interview screened on Tuesday at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies taking place in Tel Aviv.
“We say that in a reasonable time frame, no longer than three years, Israel can withdraw gradually,” he said.
His remarks came as an April deadline loomed for faltering US-backed peace talks, which have been in deadlock notably over the issue of future security arrangements.
Israel wants to maintain a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley, where the West Bank borders Jordan, but the Palestinians insist Israeli troops withdraw completely, making way for an international force. “We have no problem with there being a third party present after or during the withdrawal, to reassure Israel and to reassure us that the process will be completed,” Abbas said.
“We think NATO is the appropriate party to undertake this mission.
“The Palestinian borders must, in the end, be held (controlled) by Palestinians and not by the Israeli army,” he added.
Abbas reiterated Palestinian demands that a two-state solution be based on the lines which existed before the Israeli occupation of 1967, and stressed the importance of having annexed east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
“A solution will bring Israel recognition from 57 Muslim countries, a clear, straightforward and diplomatic recognition between these countries and Israel,” Abbas said.
“I hope the Israeli people can understand what it is to be in an ocean of peace, from Mauritania to Indonesia, rather than in an island of peace as it is at the moment.”
He said he would happily meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in person, during a visit by either man to each other’s Parliament.


Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

Updated 45 min 24 sec ago

Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

  • Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen
  • appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs

DUBAI: President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on Thursday evening appointing new foreign and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle to lead the key state institutions.

In a statement, the president's office, based in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, said that Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, succeeding Hafedh Meyyad and Salem bin Breik as Minister of Finance, succeeding Minister Al-Fadhli.

The Yemeni president also appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Khalid Al-Yamani, who resigned last June.

Al-Fadhli becomes the fourth governor of the central bank since its relocation in Aden from the Houthi controlled capital, Sanaa.

The reshuffle comes amid escalating tension between the Hadi’s government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council (STC) that seized Aden and other neighboring provinces.