Ashkenazi asks Bulgarian FM to sway PA to hold peace talks with Israel
“These are historic times and it’s important that the international community helps strengthen the new peace agreement.”
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi meets with his Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zakharieva
(photo credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)
The Palestinian Authority must return to the negotiating table to end its conflict with Israel now that the Jewish state had entered into normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said during a joint press conference with his visiting Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zakharieva on Thursday.
“I once again call on the Palestinian leadership to take advantage of this historic window of opportunity in the Middle East and immediately return to negotiation with Israel with no precondition. We need to do this for the region and the future of all of our children,” he said.
He noted that Zakharieva was due to visit Ramallah on Friday and asked her to use that opportunity to help open a new vista of opportunity with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process which has been frozen since April 2014.
The two foreign ministers met as Israel’s government is set on Sunday to ratify its normalization deal with Bahrain. The UAE deal was ratified last month. Both deals were brokered by the Trump administration as part of its Abraham Accords.
The PA has rejected those accords and has continued to refuse to hold talks with Israel.
During their conversation Askenazi updated Zakharieva on the normalization process.
“The Abraham accords have opened a new era of peace between friends, countries and cultures. A region that knew war and conflict, is moving to an age of cooperation, prosperity and stability and yes, once again we hear the words peace. These are historic times and it’s important that the international community helps strengthen the new peace agreement. I am happy to say that Bulgaria was one of the first countries to support this move, unfortunately the PA has continued it policy of refusal and rejection,” Ashkenazi said.