Palestinian Administration Head: Jerusalem must be open to all
Jerusalem must be a city open to all religions, Palestinian Administration Head Mahmoud Abbas said in his interview to Vesti TV channel.
"Jerusalem has the thing which unite representatives of three religions, and no one can prohibit them from doing religious rituals [in Jerusalem]," Abbas, who is on an official visit to Russia, said.
He also criticized religious extremism and terror.
"I am against extremism, because Islam is a religion of tolerance. If a Palestinian state is established, then we will live side by side with Israel in the spirit of tolerance," Abbas said.
The n argument over Jerusalem's status remains a stumbling block in the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, Israel refuses to divide the city and declares it its capital.
Jerusalem was occupied during the six day war in 1967, and was annexed by Israel in 1981; although the U.N. still refers it to the occupied Palestinian territories.
Earlier, at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi, Abbas said that a formula to solve the Middle East problem has not been found, RIA Novosti reported.
While speaking about Palestine's relations with Israel, Abbas said that they "cover a range of issues."
"Normal interaction has been established and maintained on some of them. This is the area of security, economy, as well as issues of the international agenda," he added.
The peace process in the Middle East is at deadlock after the Palestinian Administration refused to sit at the negotiations table until Israel stops its settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
U.S. and the Middle East Quartet's attempts to unblock the negotiations are fruitless yet.