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Abbas: Any deal with Israel must first go through public referendum
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22:00, August 28, 2007

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President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday that any future peace deal with Israel would first be submitted to the Palestinian people for a referendum.

Abbas statements were made earlier in an interview broadcast by Palestine TV on Tuesday, shortly before he held a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

"Before signing any permanent agreement with Israel on ending the conflict, we would first ask the people in a referendum if they accept it or not as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization and parliament," said Abbas, denying any secret meetings or talks currently held between the two sides.

"There will be no agreement from beneath the table," Abbas said.

Abbas met Olmert at midday Tuesday in Jerusalem, during which the Palestinian President renewed rejection to a Palestinian statehood with provisional borders.

Meanwhile, Abbas revealed that the PNA has so far received no specific information on an international peace conference, called by U.S. President George W. Bush in a bid to revive the Israeli- Palestinian peace process.

Abbas said on Monday that he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the time, the participants and the agenda of the prospective conference, but "she has had no answers to these questions."

Abbas stated that the Palestinian leadership want a detailed and specific framework agreement on core issues and would not accept a vague "declaration of principles" as proposed by the Israeli side, adding that the meeting would only be a "waste of time" if it only stops at that point.

"We want a framework showing how to resolve the issues of borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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