Abbas says Mideast peace agreement achievable within a year
Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said here Wednesday that a Middle East peace agreement can be achieved within a year, Xinhua reported.
Abbas made the remarks at a joint press conference at the White House with other four leaders involved in the direct peace talks -- U.S. President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Now it is time to made peace and end Israeli occupation, said Abbas.
He condemned the violence that killed four Israelis in the West Bank on Tuesday and urged Israel to stop settlement activities in the West Bank.
Moments earlier, Netanyahu said at the same occasion that Israel seeks a peace that will end the conflict once and for all and that will last for generations.
"President Abbas, you are my partner in peace. It is up to us to overcome the agonizing conflict between our peoples and to forge a new beginning," Netanyahu said.
"But peace must also be defended against its enemies," he added, stressing that a defensible peace requires security arrangements that can withstand the test of time and challenges.
He called on Abbas to work with him to "change the future."
Abbas and Netanyahu are scheduled to launch direct peace talks here on Thursday, ending a 20-month hiatus of such contacts between the two sides.