Palestinians have no idea of postponement of Mitchell's visit: official

13:38, August 09, 2010      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has no idea of the postponement of the U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell's visit to the region, a senior Palestinian official said on Sunday.

"We were not told that Mitchell has delayed his visit to the region," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio.

The official said that "so far Mitchell has not set a date for his visit to the Palestinian territories."

Israel Radio reported on Saturday that Mitchell has decided to hold up his visit to the region during which he was supposed to follow up peace developments and continue mediating the indirect talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis which kicked off in May.

"We reiterate our readiness to immediately go to direct negotiations, but we also stress that the ball is in Israel's court," Erekat added.

"If Israel agrees to stop settlement construction and recognize the pre-1967 borders as permanent boundaries for the future Palestinian state, we will directly start face-to-face talks," he added.

The PNA has been under heavy pressure to jump to direct peace talks which halted in December 2008 after Israel launched a major offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Source: Xinhua


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