Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - nothing new?
Photo: Haim Tzach
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - talks suspended for 15 months
Photo: AFP

Israel, Palestinians to hold further talks Saturday

Third round of face-to-face meetings to be held in Amman on Saturday; Fatah official says King Abdullah "very disappointed" with Israel's position so far

Israelis and Palestinians will hold their third round of face-to-face meetings this year on Saturday in what diplomats hope might lead to the resumption of full peace talks, sources on each side said on Friday.


The exploratory discussions began on January 3 and followed a long break in negotiations after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended talks 15 months ago over Israel's expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.


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Abbas on Thursday played down prospects of any breakthrough, telling members of his Fatah party that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not put forward any new proposals.


"The words that we heard in Netanyahu's residence (in 2010) are the same words he is repeating now, nothing new," Abbas said, adding that he had told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the apparent lack of progress.


Abbas is due to travel to London, Berlin and Moscow over the next 10 days to discuss the situation.

The "Quartet" of international peace mediators - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - sought in October to revive the peace talks, which broke down weeks after they began in 2010.


Fatah Executive Committee member Mahmoud al-Aloul told Ynet Friday that King Abdullah of Jordan was "very disappointed" with Israel's position in the talks held in Amman.


Al-Aloul said that Israel "failed to address any of the important issues. The meetings in Amman didn’t result in any progress. There is no new development."


'Window rapidly closing'

The Quartet wants the two sides to state their positions on the borders and security arrangements of a future "two-state solution" by Jan. 26 to help open the door to a resumption of full negotiations.


US officials have signaled that the Jan. 26 target date for the two sides to exchange proposals could slide.


An internal European Union report, leaked to reporters this week, warned that the chances of creating a workable Palestinian state alongside Israel were being eroded by constant Jewish settlement building and restrictions on Palestinian economic activity and demographic growth.


"The window for the two-state solution is rapidly closing," said the report, put together by EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah.


The negotiators are holding their meetings in Amman under the auspices of Jordan's King Abdullah, who will visit US President Barack Obama next week to review developments.


Elior Levy contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 01.13.12, 14:21
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