Abbas accepts resignation of Palestinian peace negotiator Shtayyeh

Saeb Erekat to stay as negotiator in talks expected to continue next week, while the rest of negotiating team will be replaced.

November 22, 2013 10:59
Palestinian negotiators Mohammad Shtayyeh and Saeb Erekat arrive at start of talks in Washington.

Palestinian negotiating team 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted the resignation of negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Thursday.

The entire Palestinian peace delegation tendered their resignation to Abbas earlier this month in protest against continued construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

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While Abbas rejected chief negotiator Saeb Erekat's resignation, a Palestinian official told Ma'an the rest of the delegation will be replaced.

Despite the resignation, the PLO announced that the peace talks with Israel would continue until the end of the nine-month period set by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"We have committed to continue the negotiations for nine months, regardless of what happens on the ground. We are committed and we will go to the full nine months, and then we will take the appropriate decision," Abbas told AFP.

Another negotiation meeting is reportedly scheduled for next week.

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