* Mahmud oh Mahmud: Is that the Dead Sea or the peace of the grave? Ahh, if only we could speak Arabic, perhaps then we could understand that the Pali-Arabs have nothing but our best interest at heart and if we could only understand that, then maybe we could also understand that Islam is a religion of peace….
Abbas, middle, and Peres, right, will address the Turkish parliament for the first time [AFP]Mahmoud
Abbas, the Palestinian president, has told Israel it can live in peace if it ends its occupation of Arab lands.
* And which ‘Arab lands’ would those be? Israel?
“If peace comes and the occupation comes to an end, Israel will live in a sea of peace,” he said on Tuesday after meeting his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Abbas said his administration was working “with … full force” to ensure that an upcoming Middle East conference in Annapolis, US, was a success.
The talks in Maryland are an attempt to relaunch peace negotiations between the Israel and the Palestinian administration after they broke down seven years ago.
Talks ‘a waste’
Abbas and Peres were in Ankara to establish an industrial park in the West Bank, which will be sponsored by Turkey – a project expected to generate jobs for thousands of Palestinians.
* Another sick joke: Turkey will let the EU bleed for it and the Pal’s will never produce anything of value…
The two leaders are also due to address Turkey’s parliament separately, with both leaders becoming the first presidents of Israel and the Palestinians to address the legislature in Ankara.
“Never before has an Israeli president been in [the Turkish parliament] and the fact that this is happening is a signal by Turkey of the neutral platform that it can extend in terms of this highly divided region,” Mike Hanna, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Istanbul, said.
Peres on Monday welcomed the participation of all “moderate countries” in the Annapolis conference.
He said “the voice of peace will be stronger and louder” with more participants attending, but he said Syria had not worked towards achieving peace.
Imad Moustapha, Syria’s ambassador to the US, last week called the talks a “waste” and a “photo opportunity”.
Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the Islamic world, has in the past played the role of mediator between the Jewish state and its Muslim neighbours.