Abbas to refuse direct talks with Israel: official

22:11, July 29, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will inform the Arab Peace Initiative Committee, which convenes Thursday in Cairo, that he will not jump to direct talks with Israel, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday.

"Direct talks will not start unless Israel stops construction of settlements and achieves progress on the course of the indirect proximity talks," Wassil Abu Youssif, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, told Voice of Palestine radio, adding "This is the message Abbas has for the committee."

He added that the Arabs will support Abbas' stance since the Jewish state is not helping improve the U.S.-brokered indirect talks which started in May approved by the Arab League.

The Arab Peace Initiative committee is discussing the U.S. proposal to start direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The Palestinians halted direct talks with Israel after Israel launched a large offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in the end of 2008 to stop Hamas firing home-made rocket barrage to its towns and cities.

Meanwhile, Jamal Mohaisen, a member of Fatah central committee, said in an interview with Voice of Palestine that Abbas will brief the committee with the results of the indirect proximity talks with Israel.

"President Abbas will also put the committee in the picture why he does not want to jump to direct negotiations with Israel," he added.

He stressed the Palestinians' desire to make just peace based on the international legitimacy, accusing Israel of unwillingness to reach peace.

Source: Xinhua


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