June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he feels the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) and the U.S. administration's positions are completely identical.

Abbas, who returned Wednesday to the West Bank after visiting five countries, including the United States, said "the most important thing in this tour is that the U.S. and Palestinian positions were completely identical."

"There are no differences between me and President Barack Obama on any issue," Abbas told the Ramallah-based al-Ayyam newspaper.

"He supports us and for the first time in years he accepts my request to get (financial) support to Gaza, this is very good," Abbas added.

Abbas, who met Obama in the White House on June 9, said the U.S. president supports the PNA efforts to lift the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian demand to form an international committee to probe the Israeli raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla heading for Gaza on May 31.

The killing of nine activists in the attack had sparked an international outcry that the Israeli siege to isolate Hamas must be lifted. President Obama said after meeting Abbas the situation in Gaza was "unsustainable."

Obama has promised 400 million U.S. dollars for infrastructure projects in the West Bank and Gaza though Washington classifies Hamas, which took over Gaza by force in 2007, as a terrorist organization.

Abbas also said he had held "positive talks" with senators and congressmen in the United States.

Obama administration is leading indirect proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians in a bid to bridge the gaps and to enable the two sides to resume their face-to-face negotiations which stopped in 2008.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017