July 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday said that Jews would enjoy freedom and full civil rights in a future Palestinian state, according to a report in the Aspen Daily News.

"Jews, to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine, will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel," Fayyad said in response to a question from former CIA director James Woolsey at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival.

According to the report, the crowd at the festival's Greenwald Pavilion applauded enthusiastically after Fayyad's remarks.

Fayyad told the audience that the Palestinians seek a "meaningful political process that is capable of ending the occupation," according to the newspaper.

The report said that Fayyad had also attended a panel discussion that included U.S. former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said that Hamas is a problem.

"I don't pretend to know how the Palestinian Authority should deal with it," Feinstein said, according to the report.

Fayyad replied that the answer is to get Palestinians to support "that which is done to affect a meaningful change for the better in people's lives. I think we stand a much better chance of winning that debate than going about it in a war of words, which has typified much of the argument over the divide."


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