President Mahmud Abbas urged Israel to reach out to the Palestinian Authority government and work for peace between the two nations. “An independent Palestinian state is a vital interest to Israel.” Abbas argued peace between Palestinians and Israel would change the entire Middle East and relieve tension in the region. It would also create the basis for an extended peace between Israel and other Arab nations such as Syria. However, the Abbas message included a warning that no peace could be achieved until Israel halted further construction of settlements in the West Bank and in Jerusalem.
The European Union in December supported the idea of Jerusalem becoming the capital of two nations-Palestine and Israel. Such a step would be symbolic of the importance of peace between the two nations.