Mitchell, Abbas in Ramallah
Photo: AP

Abbas to Mitchell: No direct talks before border issue resolved

During Ramallah meeting, Palestinian president tells US envoy Israel must recognize borders of 'Palestinian lands it occupied in 1967,' put an end to east Jerusalem home demolitions

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with special US envoy George Mitchell in Ramallah on Thursday amid growing frustration in the Palestinian Authority over the lack of progress in the indirect peace talks with Israel.


Palestinian sources told Ynet that the so-called "proximity talks" are effectively deadlocked, adding that the Palestinian Authority would not enter direct negotiations unless the Americans guarantee "seriousness" on the part of the Israelis.


The sources said they hope Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled meeting with US President Barack Obama next week will yield results.


'Too early for direct talks.' Mitchell (L) and Abbas (Photo: Reuters)


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said President Abbas told Mitchell "there would not be any move to direct negotiations without progress on the questions of security and borders, and in particular, without Israel recognizing the borders of the Palestinian lands it occupied in 1967."


According to Erekat, Abbas also insisted Israel put an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem and avoid any unilateral measures - particularly those related to the settlements - before direct talks can be launched.


"We hope that before the indirect negotiations conclude we will have resolved the issues related to borders and security before talks on the remaining core issues begin," said Erekat.


During his meeting with Mitchell, Abbas also mentioned the expulsion of Palestinian parliament members from Jerusalem, said the chief Palestinian negotiator.


AFP contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 07.01.10, 19:33
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