Low-level Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that were scheduled to conclude on January 26 will continue for another month, Army Radio reported Monday.According to the report, the Palestinian representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean announced the Palestinian intention to continue the talks until March during the organization's 19th bureau meeting in Amman on Monday. The Jerusalem Post could not independently verify this report.Molcho and Erekat have met 5 times in Jordan-sponsored talks in accordance with a Quartet plan, in which the sides were to agree upon a framework for high-level talks.Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday was somewhat pessimistic about the prospects of future peace talks with the Palestinians, but expressed hope that exploratory talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman would act as a springboard for direct negotiations."The Palestinian Authority decided to continue talks with Israel, being conducted by Saeb Erekat and Prime Minister [Binyamin Netanyahu]'s representative Yitzhak Molcho, until March," Army Radio quoted him as saying.
"The signs are not particularly good, but I hope they will rebound and we can make progress," Netanyahu stated at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
The prime minister stated that Israel was interested in continuing exploratory talks with the Palestinians with a view of moving towards "concrete negotiations." He was critical of the Palestinians, saying that, thus far, "they have refused to discuss with us our security needs."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that “Israeli intransigence” was behind the failure of the January Israeli-Palestinian talks in Jordan.
Israel refused during the talks to present a “clear vision” regarding the issues of borders and security as demanded by the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – Abbas said.