Obama, meeting with Abbas, calls for ‘comprehensive peace’

 

President Obama met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for a working lunch, saying the two leaders would talk about how they could achieve a "comprehensive peace" between the Palestinians and Israel.

"Everyone understands the outlines of what peace deal would look like," the president told reporters gathered in the Oval Office.

He noted that Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who was in the room along with U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiation Martin Indyk and special assistant to the president Phil Gordon, "has been working diligently," toward achieving a Mideast agreement.

Obama praised Abbas as someone who has "consistently denounced violence," and said he appreciated his hospitality on his last visit to Palestinian territories.

Abbas, speaking through a translator, thanked the president for giving him a chance to visit the White House and for the "economic and political support the U.S. is extending to the Palestinian state so it can stand on its own feet."

"We don't have any time to waste," Abbas said, referring to his goal of strengthening the Palestinian state. "Time is not on our side."

Several Palestinian officials accompanied Abbas, including chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, adviser Mohammed Ishtayeh, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh and PLO ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat.

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