Palestinian leader weighs in on direct talks

13:58, July 13, 2010      

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by David Harris

While the Israelis and Americans say they want an early launch of direct peace talks, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear on Saturday that the Palestinians will only enter face-to-face negotiations with Israel once progress has been made in the ongoing indirect parley.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is anxious to move to direct talks as soon as possible. He made the point clear when talking with the media during his trip to Washington last week.

Netanyahu fears that if he cannot shift into the direct phase by September 26, he may not be able to do so at all because of the complicated makeup of his government.

However, Abbas maintains he will not be pushed in a direction he does not want to go prior to seeing what he believes are real advances during the indirect stage. Analysts believe that domestic issues are what is holding both leaders back.

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(Editor:燕勐)

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