Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he'll resume direct peace talks if Israel accepts its 1967 frontier as a baseline for the borders of a Palestinian state and agrees to the deployment of an international force there.
Meanwhile, Fatah has rejected a request by US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell to restart direct negotiations with Israel, Fatah PR chief Mohammed Dahlan said Saturday.
Israel has not accepted the PA's demands on security and border issues and therefore there is no reason for direct talks to resume, Dahlan said.
Notably, Fatah's stance does not necessarily reflect the PA's official position. Abbas is under growing pressure from the United States to resume negotiations, and met with Mitchell Saturday.
'Borders must be on '67 basis'
Abbas' latest comments, published Saturday in the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad, hinted at some flexibility. The Palestinian leader did not mention a comprehensive Israeli settlement freeze as a condition for negotiations - something he has underlined as crucial in the past.
"We have put forward to the Israelis our position on different final status issues, and especially on borders and security," Abbas told the Jordanian newspaper. "We have said that the borders need to be on a 1967 basis, with agreement on land swaps equal in value and size, and we gave our vision regarding security, which was agreed on previously, in Olmert's days."
He said the Israelis need to recognize these propositions as acceptable, in principle.
"If they agree, we will consider that progress ... and this would prompt us to go to direct negotiations," he said.
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