Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine on Thursday urged the Islamic Hamas movement to hand over its power in Gaza to the national unity government, or to take the blame for failing the Egypt-sponsored efforts to achieve Palestinian internal reconciliation.

“I reiterate that Hamas must hand over everything to the national unity government and this has been agreed upon under Egyptian sponsorship, but Hamas don’t implement it.

“Hamas will bear the consequences for failing the Egyptian efforts, which we thank to seek to end this case,’’ said Abbas.

Abbas’ remarks came in a joint press conference with visiting Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in the West Bank Ramallah city, where he also reiterated his call for holding an international peace conference in mid-2018 to form a multilateral mechanism for the peace process.

The Palestinian president highlighted that his side never rejected any negotiation and is always ready for it.

“We would like to renew the call we initiated from the UN Security Council recently on the importance of holding an international conference for peace mid later in the year and accepting Palestine as a full UN member.

“Also by forming a multilateral mechanism to help both sides reach a peace agreement based on international legitimacy that would end the Israeli occupation of our country,’’ Abbas said.

This is the first visit by President Radev to Palestine, where both leaders discussed bilateral relations, activating joint ministerial committees and the role of the EU in the peace process, especially as Bulgaria takes the current rotating presidency of the EU council.

Abbas described the talks with his Bulgarian counterpart as prosperous, valuing the EU aid for the building of Palestinian statehood institutions.