The Palestinian Authority reiterated on Sunday its opposition to resuming peace
talks with Israel without a full cessation of settlement construction and the
release of Palestinian prisoners.
The announcement follows a meeting
between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman
on Saturday night.
A senior US State Department official called the
separate talks Kerry had with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday “useful.”
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb
Erekat said the key to resuming the stalled peace talks was in the hands of
Erekat told the Japanese envoy to the PA during a meeting in
Jericho that the Palestinians have not changed their proposition regarding the
resumption of the peace process following US President Barack Obama’s visit to
the region last week.
“The problem is not with the shape of the meetings
or on what level they are held,” Erekat said. “The problem centers around the
content, which includes an Israeli commitment to halt all settlement activities,
including in east Jerusalem, and the release of 107 Palestinian prisoners who
were incarcerated prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords.”
that the Israeli government must also accept the principle of a two-state
solution on the basis of the pre- 1967 lines before the talks are
“How can we resume the talks without defining their terms of
reference?” he asked.
“The Israeli government seeks long-term interim
solutions – something that President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO are categorically
PA Foreign Minister Riyad al- Malki announced Sunday that
there was an American-Arab agreement to “review” the Palestinian issue in its
entirety and search for new mechanisms to overcome obstacles to achieving peace
in the region.
Malki said that it was high time the Arab countries come
up with new ideas instead of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
initiative can’t remain on the table for a long time because Israel has ignored
it,” he said. “The Arabs can’t continue to promote an initiative that the other
side doesn’t pay attention to or appreciate.”Reuters contributed to this