Abbas sends aides for talks with U.S. officials: official

15:11, June 07, 2011      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent two aides to Washington to discuss U.S. efforts to revive stalled peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said Monday.

Saeb Erekat, a senior negotiator, and Nabil Abu Rdineh, the spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, traveled urgently to Washington, said Wassel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee.

The two officials will hold talks with U.S. officials. Their visit coincides with the arrival of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe to Washington.

"Abbas' envoys will emphasize the Palestinian readiness to deal positively with the French initiative," Abu Yousef told Xinhua, referring to a plan Juppe released last week to resume the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The plan envisions the 1967 lines as the borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state. The French initiative agrees mostly with a recent speech by U.S. President Barack Obama, but goes further to emphasize security for the two states, not only for Israel.

Moreover, the new initiative sets one year as the timetable for Israel and the Palestinians to agree on the status of Jerusalem and resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Abbas has accepted the French initiative. Abu Yousef said the French plan "agrees with the Palestinian aspirations since it adopts the 1967 borders."

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stopped last year, when Israel resumed Jewish settlements building in the West Bank.

Source: Xinhua
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