No Palestinian differences over direct talks: negotiation official

08:44, September 13, 2010      

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A senior Palestinian official denied on Sunday that there are differences within the Palestinian negotiations team over the direct peace negotiations with Israel.

The Palestinian official's denial was made two days before holding the second round of direct Palestinians-Israel peace talks scheduled to be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday.

"The Palestinian negotiations team is united and the coordination among its members reached its highest levels under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas to challenge the Israeli stubbornness," Nabil Shaath, a member of the Palestinian negotiations team, said in a press statement published by the state-run news agency Wafa.

The Palestinian team "is determined to begin with the issue of the borders first and not only the issue of security and also to reiterate that negotiations amid settlement construction will be impossible," he added.

Arab media reports had earlier said that there were differences between Shaath and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat over who will be heading the team of the negotiations in case Abbas is not there in some sessions.

Erekat told reporters that Abbas had personally assigned him to head the Palestinian negotiations team, where he also denied that there are differences among the members of the team.

Meanwhile, official Palestinian sources closed to Abbas announced that Abbas and his team will head to Egypt on Monday to join the second round of direct talks.

The meeting will also be attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. peace envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.

The sources also said that Abbas had a telephone conversation with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Sunday, adding that the leaders discussed the developments in the talks which were launched in Washington on Sept. 2.

Source: Xinhua


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