Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that his government is fully committed to the renewed round of peace negotiations with Israel to find a lasting two-state solution, dpa reported.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Abbas said that Palestinians will continue the negotiations "in good faith" with hopes of coming to an agreement within nine months, which is the stated timeframe for the US-sponsored talks.
"Our objective is to achieve a permanent and comprehensive agreement and a peace treaty between the states of Palestine and Israel that resolves all outstanding issues and answers all questions, which allows us to officially declare an end of conflict and claims," Abbas said.
He urged Israel to stop construction of settlements immediately as the first step toward peace.
"Time is running out, and the window of peace is narrowing, and the opportunities are diminishing," Abbas said. "The current round of negotiations appears to be a last chance to realize a just peace."
Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to intensity the peace talks that resumed in July.
"And we've agreed now in the last week ... to intensify these talks, and we've agreed that the American participation should be increased somewhat in order to try to help facilitate them," Kerry said.
Peace talks were suspended in September 2010 over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to extend a partial moratorium on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank, which was a key demand by Abbas.
The goal of the talks is to reach a final status agreement within nine months on all the major issues including, borders, security, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.
"We are not seeking an interim agreement," Kerry said. "The one lesson is that if you leave things ... hanging out there unresolved, people who don't want things to happen can make them not happen."
In addition to the need for more political engagement, Kerry emphasized the need to create a sustainable Palestinian economy for peace to take hold.
"If the economy begins to move, if people begin to invest, if people demonstrate an investment in the future, we begin to send a message of change and a message of possibilities and of hope," he said.
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