October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he was ready to start negotiations with Israel to reach peace in the Middle East.

"We are going to finish the wars, and Israel is going to live in peace not only with us but also with all the Islamic countries," Abbas told the press.

Abbas said relations with Colombia would continue to be friendly although Bogota kept its decision to reject Palestine's statehood bid in the upcoming vote at the UN Security Council.

Abbas will meet on Tuesday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who has made clear Colombia's stance on Palestinian statehood.

Santos had said that Palestinian statehood should be a result of negotiations with Israel and that Colombia would recognize Palestine when an agreement was secured.

"We know Colombia wants both parties to reach peace," Abbas said.

As part of a campaign to seek support for Palestine's statehood, Abbas has already visited the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. He is also expected to travel to Portugal later.


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