03272017Headline:

Israel is defying the world by “sabotaging” Peace – South African President Jacob Zuma

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 majority in the world agrees with the position of two states living side by side in peace, but we’ve a problem of a state that is defying all of that,” said Zuma.

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

Criticising the way the United Nations works, he added: “I do not believe the system should let that one nation can defy the world.” South Africa had appointed two special envoys for the task and was prepared to assist with discussions between the Palestinians and Israel, Zuma added.

Israel is defying the world by "sabotaging" Peace - South African President Jacob Zuma

Israel is defying the world by “sabotaging” Peace – South African President Jacob Zuma

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

“The Palestinians are the last nation in the world that’s still living under occupation,” Abbas said.

Zuma’s ruling African National Congress is a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause, with politicians regularly 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 freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

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

He’s seen South Africa before — Mandela’s funeral was attended by him, 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 struggles, we want to establish even stronger relations and alliance based on that historical relationship,” said Zuma.

In their talks, the two leaders signed an agreement to establish a forum to alliance in higher education and training, and exchange views on common political matters.

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

His remarks revealed international alarm over the spate of violent attacks over peace talks that are fueling anxiety of some other flareup after the war in Gaza earlier this year in east Jerusalem and the deadlock.

Johannesburg Chief reporter reporting:

Johannesburg : Israel is defying the world by “undermining” 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 reality 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 state 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 way the United Nations works, he included: “I do not believe the system should allow that one country can defy the world.” South Africa had made two special envoys for the endeavor and was prepared to assist with negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, Zuma added.

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

“We’re the last country on earth that’s still living under occupation,” he said.

Zuma’s ruling African National Congress is a firm 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 relations with Israel, but when Nelson Mandela was elected first democratic president in 1994, he pledged to support Palestine, saying: “South Africa’s freedom is incomplete without the independence of the Palestinians.”

POWERFUL BOND: Abbas was greeted with a 21-gun salute at 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.

“Folks of South Africa and Palestine have a powerful bond constructed in the trenches of our two battles, we need to develop even stronger connections and cooperation based on that historical relationship,” said Zuma.

In their talks, the two leaders signed an agreement to set up a forum to co-operation in training and higher education, and exchange views on common political matters.

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

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

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