On July 4, the second day of his visit to Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with a panel of journalists, including one from Al-Monitor, at the Beirut hotel he was staying in. He discussed the negotiations with Israel, Palestinian reconciliation, relations with Hamas, Palestinians in Lebanon, and their armed groups in the refugee camps. Abbas took noteworthy positions, on which he was asked whether and how they can be implemented.
Abbas started his discussion with a quick introduction that focused on key issues. He said, “First, there is [US Secretary of State] John Kerry’s political mission. We hope that, in his upcoming visit 10 days from now, he will have something that will help us return to the negotiating table. There are vigorous US efforts that, if successful, will mark a new beginning. If we negotiate, that doesn’t mean that we will achieve everything. But we will strive to achieve our national goals, first and foremost Jerusalem, which concerns the Arab and Muslim worlds, and the whole world. We will not concede on our right to Jerusalem. We promise that if Jerusalem is not the capital of Palestine, then there will be no solution.”