GAZA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday
called on Europe for a more active role in the Middle East peace process in
addition to its supportive economical role.
Abbas made his statements as he met with visiting French President Nicolas
Sarkozy in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. They signed an agreement to
establish an industrial zone in Bethlehem with a cost of 21 million U.S.
Sarkozy arrived in Israel on Sunday with his wife. He visited Bethlehem on
Tuesday and held talks with Abbas. He said that France will do its best to help
establishing an independent Palestinian state.
"It is an interest of everyone to have the Palestinian president (Abbas) to
be as a man of peace and not as a man of war," said Sarkozy.
He reiterated the message he delivered to Israel's parliament on Monday
when he called on the Palestinians to do more to combat terrorism and for Israel
to stop building Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, Abbas welcomed Sarkozy's visit in a joint news conference held
at the presidential palace in Bethlehem. Abbas said that achieving peace is
linked to ending the suffering of the Palestinians people.
"Ending our people's suffering is to remove the separation wall, stop
settlements activities and removing all the daily obstacles they suffer from,"
Abbas told reporters.
Sarkozy would later send his minister of interior to Ramallah to place a
wreath of flowers on late leader Yasser Arafat's tomb. Sarkozy and his wife will
also visit the Church of Nativity later on Tuesday.