Brown meets Palestinian leader Abbas

By Jessica Elgot, January 29, 2010
Mahmoud Abbas meets Gordon Brown at Downing Street

Mahmoud Abbas meets Gordon Brown at Downing Street

Gordon Brown has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Downing Street to discuss the peace process in the Middle East.

The two met for an hour in Downing Street where their discussion included the Arab Peace Initiative and the Palestinian economy.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: "They focused their discussions on the need to renew efforts towards a lasting peace agreement.

“The Prime Minister expressed continued support for the Arab Peace Initiative as the framework for a just and comprehensive agreement which would ensure a secure Israel alongside a viable and secure Palestine.

“They also discussed efforts to revitalise the Palestinian economy. The Prime Minister was heartened by the positive and confident approach being pursued by President Abbas, who continues to do so much to build peace in the region.

"The Prime Minister made clear that the Government will continue to do everything we can with both parties and our international partners to deliver progress towards a lasting settlement."

There was no mention of any discussion of a potential UN war crimes probe into Israel or Hamas’ actions during the Gaza offensive last year.

Yesterday, Mr Abbas called for an investigation while speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

He said: "People who committed those crimes have to be held responsible so that these crimes cannot be repeated. We are stretching out our hand for peace with Israel. But what was done are regretfully crimes of war."

Last updated: 2:38pm, January 29 2010