Abbas to Panetta: We'll return to talks if settlements stop

October 3, 2011 17:52

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday told visiting US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the Palestinians are prepared to return to the negotiating table if Israel stopped construction in the settlements and accepted the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.

Meanwhile, Nimer Hammad, a top advisor to Abbas, reiterated the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.He said that if US financial aid to the Palestinians was conditioned on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, "we won't do so at all."

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