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Palestinian embassy denies Maimane, Abbas meeting

The party has described as unfortunate & inaccurate a statement released by Palestine’s embassy on Monday.

FILE: Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has described as unfortunate and inaccurate the statement released by Palestine’s embassy, denying that a meeting was scheduled between its leader Mmusi Maimane and President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Monday, the embassy denied claims that Maimane had planned a trip to Palestine while visiting Israel and meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it only became aware of the visit through the media.

While the DA says Maimane was due to meet with Abbas and the Palestinian leader cancelled at the eleventh hour, the embassy says no meeting was ever planned.

Party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme says, “The DA had a confirmed meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It phoned the South African embassy in the run-up to this meeting and invited the South African ambassador to join this meeting.”

She says the party remains committed to a two-state solution and believes South Africa should play a more constructive role in bringing both parties together to negotiate a peaceful deal.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)