Fatah tends to reject direct talks with Israel: official

07:48, July 21, 2010      

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The Palestinian Fatah party opposes starting direct negotiations with Israel as long as it continues settlement activities, a member of the movement's Central Committee said Tuesday.

"The general movement of Fatah is to reject moving from the proximity negotiations to the face-to-face talks as long as the Israeli settlement activities and its denial of the peace references continued," Mahmoud al-Aloul told Xinhua following a meeting of the Central Committee on Tuesday.

The meeting, chaired by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, evaluated the U.S.-mediated proximity talks that started in May and the pressure put on the Palestinian leadership to go to direct talks. However, a decision either to continue the proximity talks or to stop them has not yet been made, according to al-Aloul.

The Central Council of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is scheduled to meet next month to decide on the talks.

The proximity talks aim at defining the borders of the future Palestinian statehood and the related security issues, but the Palestinians say the negotiations, intended to last for four months, have not made any progress so far.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Dahlan, another member of the Central Committee, said the decision-making body of Fatah and the movement 's Revolutionary Council would continue their meetings in preparation for a July 29 convention of the Arab League (AL) committee that deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The AL follow-up committee would also evaluate the negotiations.

Dahlan reiterated that moving to direct talks requires achievements in the issues of border and security and freeze of Israeli settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territories.

Source: Xinhua


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