President Abbas, Bosnian leader call for an international peace conference

RAMALLAH, President Mahmoud Abbas and his guest, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, called on Wednesday for an international peace conference to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Ramallah at the conclusion of a short state visit for the Bosnian leader to Palestine, President Abbas reiterated the call he made at the United Nations Security Council in February for holding an international peace conference and a multilateral mechanism to oversee the peace process and negotiations with a goal to achieve the two-state solution.

Abbas said he briefed his guest on the recent American decisions on Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees, which he said has made the United States a biased mediator and therefore not qualified to sponsor the negotiations, demanding that the US retracts all these decisions.

The US administration has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and is actively working to end the Palestinian refugee issue by breaking up the United Nations refugee agency, UNRWA, which is taking care of over five million Palestinian refugees.

Izatbegovic said his government also supports an international peace conference and the two-state solution, stressing that negotiations are the only way to achieve peace and resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

He also strongly criticized Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory, saying they are detrimental to peace.

The Bosnian leader said he wanted to come and visit Palestine and Jerusalem for the last time as president of Bosnia since he is leaving office in one month.

Izatbegovic arrived earlier in Ramallah aboard a Jordanian army helicopter.

After laying a wreath at late President Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum, he was received by President Abbas in an official ceremony before the two leaders started talks.

This is the second visit to Palestine for the Bosnian leader in 18 months. It came as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations and to sign several cooperation agreements that would boost relations between the two countries.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency