Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday criticized US
President Barack Obama for failing to provide him with clear answers to a number
of questions regarding the future of peace talks with Israel.
confirmed that Obama has been exerting pressure on him to enter direct
negotiations with Israel.
Obama supports Abbas leadership
PA wants guarantees for direct talks
Abbas was speaking during a closed meeting of
members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah.
Abbas was quoted
by some Fatah operatives as saying that Egypt and Jordan supported the PA’s
refusal to move to direct talks unless progress is first achieved on the issues
of security and the future borders of a Palestinian state.
“We can’t go
to direct negotiations like blind people,” Abbas was quoted as
“We can’t enter direct negotiations without
Abbas complained that Obama recently sent him an oral message
urging him to launch direct negotiations with Israel
According to the PA president, Obama’s message was
“unclear and ambiguous.”
Abbas was quoted as saying: “With all due
respect to the American president, his message was not clear. We want to clear
answers to questions we presented to the Americans, especially regarding
security, borders and the status of Jerusalem. We continue to insist that any
negotiations with Israel be based on recognition of 1967 as the future borders
of the Palestinian state.”
Abbas said that the US administration has also
failed to give the Palestinians a clear answer with regard to Israel’s policy of
“Before we go to the negotiations, we want clear
answers on the borders and settlements,” Abbas stressed.
He is also under
pressure from Fatah to reshuffle the cabinet of Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad so that it would include more ministers from Fatah.
the Fatah operatives at the meeting attacked Fayyad and accused him of
“marginalizing” their faction and denying their supporters key
Muhammad Taha, a member of the Revolutionary Council, said he
expected a cabinet reshuffle within two weeks. He said that the
focused on the severe financial crisis in Fatah.
Another council member,
Sabri Saidam, said Abbas asked the Fatah council to present him with a
candidates for ministerial posts in a new cabinet.