Schroeder urges Palestinians to follow non-violent path

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Monday congratulated Mahmud Abbas on his election victory and said he hoped the Palestinian people would follow their new president's policies of non-violence and reform. "Germany, with its European partners, will do everything to support you in achieving creation of an independent, viable and democratic state in the framework of comprehensive and just peace deal," said Schroeder, who invited Abbas to visit Berlin. The Chancellor said the ele

10 January 2005

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Monday congratulated Mahmud Abbas on his election victory and said he hoped the Palestinian people would follow their new president's policies of non-violence and reform.

"Germany, with its European partners, will do everything to support you in achieving creation of an independent, viable and democratic state in the framework of comprehensive and just peace deal," said Schroeder, who invited Abbas to visit Berlin.

The Chancellor said the election of Abbas came amid new chances for hammering out a Middle East peace deal.

"I trust that the Palestinian people will follow your chosen path of abstaining from use of force and of comprehensive reforms," said Schroeder.

German Foreign Minister Joshcka Fischer hailed the Palestinian elections and said Abbas' resounding victory was a symbol of the region's yearning for peace.

"It is of central importance that the positive political momentum be used effectively," said Fischer in a statement, adding that Berlin hoped there would soon be talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Fischer said the high voter turnout of 70 percent was an impressive example of the Palestinian people's democratic will.

He added that the elections - which he termed "free and fair" - also had to be seen as "a democratic signal" for the entire Middle East.

"Mahmud Abbas stands for the hope of many people in the Middle East for and the entire world that the Palestinians and the Israelis will achieve a peaceful resolution of their conflict in the near future," said the German Foreign Minister.

Abbas won Sunday's Palestinian presidential election with 62.3 percent of the vote, the Palestinian Central Election Committee announced on Monday after all votes were counted. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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