Abbas spokesman: Netanyahu has more influence in US than in Israel

Abbas spokesman Netanya

November 1, 2009 09:33

The Netanyahu administration has more influence in the United States than in Israel, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Sunday. Following US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meeting with Abbas in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Rudeineh had said that a settlement freeze in all "occupied" territories including Jerusalem would be the only way to renew peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. Damascus also criticized the latest round of US peacemaking efforts in the region, saying that Washington had failed to put pressure on Israel. Clinton on Saturday night rejected Abbas's demand that Israel freeze all settlement activity as a precondition to negotiations. Stopping construction in the settlements "has never been a precondition, it has always been an in issue within the negotiations," Clinton said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

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