PNA not to resume negotiations on interim basis: Erekat

13:58, December 21, 2009      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) will not resume negotiations with Israel on interim phases or temporary solutions, top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

"The PNA will not return to the transitional phase or the provisional borders of the (future) Palestinian state in negotiations with Israel," Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio.

Denying U.S. offers for restarting the negotiations on temporary compromises, Erekat added that all the discussions between the Palestinians and Washington "focus on final-status issues."

On Saturday, a Palestinian newspaper reported that the U.S. administration has suggested undercover direct talks between the PNA and Israel and rejected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's proposal that Washington mediates the negotiations.

"We don't know about this and no U.S. official had talked to us in this regard," Erekat added.

The talks came to a halt nearly a year ago when Israel launched a military offensive against the Gaza Strip. After the end of the operation in January, efforts to resume the negotiations have failed as a new Israeli government, led by hawkish premier Benjamin Netanyahu, took office and refused to stop settlement expansions in occupied Palestinian territories.

Erekat said that previous talks have made Israel's commitments clear, urging the Jewish state to freeze all kinds of settlements building, lift roadblocks in the West Bank and agree to resume the talks from the last point they stopped at.

Source: Xinhua
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