Palestinian FM reaffirms no talks with Israel if settlement continues

08:05, October 09, 2010      

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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki reaffirmed Friday that Palestinian National Authority (PNA) will not continue direct talks with Israel if the Jewish government insists on expanding settlements in the West Bank.

"Peace talks could not coexist with settlement," Malki told Xinhua on the sidelines of the preparatory meeting for the second Afro-Arab summit slated to kick off on Sunday.

Arab foreign ministers will also hold a meeting of the Arab League (AL) peace initiative follow-up committee in Sirte on Friday evening, which has been delayed for twice, to discuss the U. S.-backed Palestinian-Israeli direct talks which restarted on Sept. 2 in Washington.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will convey the latest developments of the peace talks with Israel and the Palestinian leadership's decision to Arab ministers, and the AL meeting will form an unified Arab position towards the Palestine-Israel talks, Malki said.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and major Palestinian political faction Fatah party, both led by Abbas, decided on Oct. 2 to suspend the newly relaunched direct peace talks with Israel until the Israeli government freezes settlement construction in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian leadership's decision was made one week after a 10-month Israeli government moratorium to freeze settlement expired on Sept. 26. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend the moratorium. The Palestinians said settlement construction has resumed in the West Bank.

On the Palestinian internal reconciliation, Malki said "we are resolving the differences."

"If the direct talks could continue, we plan to establish the Palestinian state while the talks are ongoing." he said.

Source: Xinhua


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