The Palestinian Authority leadership began a series of meetings in Ramallah on Sunday ahead of US special Middle East envoy George Mitchell’s planned visit to the region this week.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas chaired a meeting on Sunday of the Fatah Central Committee. On Monday, Abbas will chair another meeting of the PLO Executive Committee.RELATED:Palestinian refugee issue comes to fore as Mitchell arrivesPA furious US cannot persuade Israel to renew freeze
The meetings are being held amid deep disappointment in Ramallah with the US administration for failing to pressure Israel to halt construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem.
A PA official said that Abbas informed the Fatah committee that he would reject the American call for holding indirect talks with Israel.
Abbas is also expected to seek the backing of Arab League foreign ministers for his position. The ministers have decided to hold a meeting on Wednesday at the request of Abbas to discuss the repercussions of Washington’s failure to convince Israel to renew a moratorium on settlement construction.
Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the PA negotiating team with Israel, was quoted by AFP as saying that Washington has suggested that the Palestinians resume indirect negotiations with Israel – an indication that the Americans have “nothing to offer.” He also ruled out the possibility that such negotiations would succeed.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior PLO official and close adviser to Abbas, said he expected the PA leadership to reject Washington’s demand to resume the peace talks.
“We don’t want to return to indirect talks to once again discuss agendas
for the negotiations because we will then waste another year,” he said.
Abed Rabbo warned that the interests of the superpowers in the region
would be affected if an independent Palestinian state is not
established. He added that Washington’s credibility has already been
undermined as a result of its announcement that it has failed to stop
“This is the first time since the Vietnam War that the US declares its failure,” Abed Rabbo told the London-based Al-Hayat