Obamas and Abbas

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday that the Palestinian people will celebrate the Holy Fire vigil in Jerusalem next year.

Speaking at the end of Easter celebrations in Bethlehem, Fayyad announced, “Next year, Inshallah (God willing), we shall celebrate in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in east Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state.”

“Our people, joined by all humanity, will celebrate the creation of the Palestinian independent state on all 1967 borders, a state whose capital shall be Jerusalem,” the Prime Minister added.

The creation of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders has been endorsed by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The United States will be vigorously engaged in the pursuit of a two-state solution every step of the way,” she said. “The inevitability of working toward a two state-solution is inescapable.”

During his address last year at The University of Cairo, Mr. Obama said that the United States would not turn its back on the “legitimate” Palestinian aspiration for a state. He told the Islamic crowd that the creation of an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, represents the “only resolution” to the conflict with Israel.

In his Easter Virgil speech, Mr. Fayyad further said: “The Palestinian state is being built these days brick by brick, step by step and we continue to broaden services for our people to fortify its standing, especially in the areas which have been damaged by the fence and the settlements.”

Earlier on Saturday thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the Holy Fire ceremony.

According to Christian tradition, Jesus was crucified and buried at the site and the fire burns above his grave on the Saturday before Easter.

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