'No peace talks unless J'lem agrees on borders'

PA president says "Israelis don't want established borders" on eve of Amman talks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 25, 2012 17:45
1 minute read.
PA president Abbas, Jordan King Abdullah II

PA president Abbas, Jordan King Abdullah II_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority will not restart direct peace negotiations with Israel unless Jerusalem recognizes the borders of a Palestinian state, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday according to the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA).

"If the borders are set it's possible to return to negotiations, but the Israelis do not want established borders" Abbas said following a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II.

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Abbas's made the comments hours before Israeli and Palestinian delegations were to meet in Jordan for the fifth such low-level negotiation this month.

Abbas thanked Jordan for bringing Israelis and Palestinians together for the low-level talks, but failed to say whether they set the pretext for future negotiations. He said the PA would consult Abdullah and the Arab Monitoring Committee before decided whether to press on with the discussions.

The most outstanding issue preventing the resumption of high-level direct negotiations is the continued expansion of Israeli settlements, especially in "occupied" Jerusalem, Abbas said according to the report.

Other PA official made abrupter comments Wednesday, saying that Wednesday's meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman would be the final meeting.

The PA has come under heavy pressure from the Quartet to continue the talks but will not agree to do so, Ma'an cited unnamed Palestinian sources as saying.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amirah blamed Israel for the Palestinian decision not to continue talks, saying that the Netanyahu government "does not seek at this stage to achieve any progress in the peace process with the Palestinian Authority," according to the report.

Israeli officials took a more positive tone, saying Tuesday they were confident the Palestinians would continue the talks being held in Jordan beyond the January 26 Quartet deadline, which Israel contests.

The Palestinians are unlikely to cut off talks, the officials said, because the move was not supported by European powers and other key international players.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.


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