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Palestinian FM: We are ready to negotiate with any new Israeli PM

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The Palestinian Authority is ready to negotiate with any new Israeli prime minister that emerges from Tuesday’s election, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Wednesday in Oslo.

“First of all, we respect the democratic outcome of the elections in Israel. Who will be able to form a government, we are ready to sit down with him to resume negotiations,” Maliki told reporters.

“Since we did not interfere in the election campaign or the election result, we will not interfere in the formation of a possible government in Israel.”

Maliki is accompanying President Mahmoud Abbas on his three-day official visit to Norway.

Maliki’s statement came at a time when the semi-final results published by the Israeli media, according to sources in the Electoral Commission that the outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz are almost equal in the seats, complicating the issue of forming a new government.

Netanyahu recently pledged to annex the Jordan Valley and impose Israeli sovereignty on the occupied West Bank settlements, in a position the Palestinians considered “destructive to all chances for peace.”

“When the Israelis agree to form a government, they will see that we are ready to negotiate on the basis of international law and UN resolutions,” the Palestinian minister told reporters.

Maliki also reaffirmed the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to a two-state solution: a Palestinian state and an Israeli state living side by side in peace and security.

Abbas’s visit to Oslo comes ahead of a meeting next week in New York under the chairmanship of Norway for the donor group for Palestine.

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