Abbas urges Washington to help dropping Israeli conditions

12:18, January 23, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (R, front) welcomes US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell (L, front) before their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Jan 22, 2010. President Abbas urged during the meeting Washington to work on dropping Israeli conditions that prevent the resumption of peace talks. (Xinhua Photo)


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday urged Washington to work on dropping Israeli conditions that prevent the resumption of peace talks, a Palestinian official said.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Abbas made his appeal before the U.S. envoy George Mitchell during a closed meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday.

"The president informed Mitchell that we are ready to resume the negotiations but without precondition," Erekat said, referring to recent conditions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu stressed Thursday that Jerusalem won't be up for negotiations, and described the Palestinian demand to freeze settlement construction before the resumption of the talks as a precondition. He also said that Israel will keep military presence on the eastern borders of the future Palestinian state.

The U.S. government "should work to let Israel drop its conditions, and this call is not a Palestinian condition," Erekat said after the end of Abbas-Mitchell meeting. "Anybody wants to find peace must let Netanyahu give up his conditions."

Also according to Erekat, Mitchell stressed that the peace talks must be resumed to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a two-state solution. Mitchell also iterated U.S. President Barack Obama's commitment to support and push the peace process.

Source: Xinhua
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