Abbas and Hague discuss Middle East peace process, democracy moves
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday he hoped that current moves towards more democracy in the Middle East would assist a breakthrough in the stalled Middle East peace negotiations, dpa reported.
"The more democracy we have, the more chance we have to bring about the peace we are all seeking," Abbas said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.
The Palestinian leader said he was banking on a framework agreement for peace being in place by September, as had been promised by US President Barack Obama and the Middle East Quartet.
"If that does not happen between now and September all options are on the table," said Abbas at a news conference. "But I would like to assure you that we do not have a military option."
Hague said the current "unprecedented changes" in the Middle East added to the pressure for a breakthrough in the peace process.
"The peace process must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the region," said Hague.
However, the "eventual expiry date" for reaching a two-state solution was "not difficult to foresee," as the movement towards more democracy also carried the "risk of instability."
"We cannot predict for certain the future shape of the Middle East," said Hague.
Abbas was due later to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
On the eve of his visit, Britain announced that it was upgrading the status of the Palestinian Delegation in London to that of a mission, matching moves already taken by a number of European governments.