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Israel is defying the world by “sabotaging” prospects for two state solution, says South Africa

PRETORIA: Israel is defying the world by “sabotaging” prospects for a two state solution through its resolutions policy, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday as he welcomed visiting Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

“The fact is the fact that the overwhelming bulk on the planet agrees with the position of two states living side by side in harmony, but we’ve a problem of a nation that’s defying all of that,” said Zuma.

“We reiterate our call for the complete cessation of all settlement actions,” Zuma told a joint news conference with Abbas.

Criticising the manner the United Nations works, Zuma included: “I do not believe the system should let that one state can defy the world.” South Africa had made two special envoys for the job and was prepared to help with discussions between Israel and the Palestinians, Zuma added.

Pretoria: South African President Jacob Zuma (third right) and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas look on as a memorandum of understanding is signed

Pretoria: South African President Jacob Zuma (third right) and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas look on as a memorandum of understanding is signed

South African President Jacob Zuma (third right) and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas look on as a memorandum of understanding is signed by ministers on Wednesday.

Abbas said the Palestinians sought to profit from South Africa’s “successful experiences” in establishing an independent state.

“The Palestinians are the last country on earth that’s still living under occupation,” Abbas said.

Zuma’s ruling African National Congress is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, with politicians frequently comparing Israel to the former racist apartheid state in South Africa.

The white minority government had cooperative relationships with Israel, but when Nelson Mandela was elected first democratic president in 1994, he pledged to support Palestine, saying: “South Africa’s independence is incomplete without the independence of the Palestinians.”

POWERFUL BOND: Abbas was greeted with a 21-gun salute in the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital.

He’s seen South Africa before — he attended Mandela’s funeral last year — but officials said this is his first state visit.

“Folks of South Africa and Palestine have a solid bond constructed in the trenches of our two battles, we would like to develop even more powerful relationships and co-operation based on that historic relationship,” said Zuma.

In their discussions, both leaders signed an agreement to establish a forum to exchange perspectives on common political issues, and co-operation in training and higher education.

Abbas’s visit comes days after UN leader Ban Ki-moon urged Israel and the Palestinians to “step back from the point” and return to peace talks amid European moves toward acknowledging Palestine.

His remarks revealed international alarm over peace discussions which are fueling anxiety of some other flareup following the war in Gaza earlier this year in east Jerusalem as well as the deadlock over the spate of violent assaults.

As per details of the news:

PRETORIA: Israel is defying the world by “sabotaging” prospects for a two state solution through its settlements policy, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday as he welcomed visiting Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

“The truth is the fact that the overwhelming bulk on the planet agrees with the position of two states living side by side in peace, but we’ve a problem of a country that is defying all of that,” said Zuma.

“We reiterate our call for the absolute cessation of all settlement actions,” Zuma told a joint news conference with Abbas.

Criticising the manner the United Nations works, Zuma included: “I do not think the system should let that one state can defy the world.” South Africa had appointed two special envoys for the endeavor and was ready to help with discussions between Israel and the Palestinians, Zuma added.

Abbas said the Palestinians sought to benefit from South Africa’s “successful experiences” in building an independent state.

“The Palestinians are the last nation in the world that is still living under occupation,” he said.

Zuma’s ruling African National Congress is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, with politicians consistently comparing Israel to the former racist apartheid state in South Africa.

The white minority government had cooperative relations with Israel, but when Nelson Mandela was elected first democratic president in 1994, he pledged to support Palestine, saying: “South Africa’s independence is incomplete without the independence of the Palestinians.”

STRONG BOND: Abbas was greeted with a 21-gun salute in the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital.

Abbas has seen South Africa before — he attended Mandela’s funeral last year — but officials said this is his first state visit.

“People of South Africa and Palestine have a powerful bond assembled in the trenches of our two battles, we would like to build even more powerful relations and co-operation based on that historical relationship,” said Zuma.

In their discussions, both leaders signed an agreement to establish a forum to exchange perspectives on political issues that were common, and cooperation in higher education and training.

Abbas’s visit comes days after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Israel and the Palestinians to “step back from the point” and return to peace talks amid European moves toward acknowledging Palestine.

His opinions revealed international alarm over peace talks that are fueling anxiety of another flareup after the war in Gaza earlier this year in east Jerusalem along with the deadlock over the spate of violent assaults.

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