Direct negotiations to begin next week

Report: Letter from Ashton says talks to be based on pre-1967 borders.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 13, 2010 11:27
1 minute read.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Sec

catherine ashton 311. (photo credit: AP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may agree to direct talks next week if Israel agrees to pre-1967 borders, according to a letter found by Reuters on Thursday.

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton reportedly said in the letter that Abbas would release a statement as early as next week, if both parties agreed to direct talks. Negotiations would begin before the end of the month.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Analysis: A partial freeze might not be enough for Abbas
Mitchell meetings fail to produce direct talks
Erekat: It's time for direct decisions

On Friday, sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's officer released a statement denying a related report from London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, that said that Israel would evacuate 90% of the territory and 50,000 settlers in the West Bank. Netanyahu's office said the report is a lie.

"In principle, President Abbas should be in a position to give a definite answer by Sunday or early next week," Ashton wrote. "Abbas is very close" to proceeding to direct talks.

The Quartet "should help President Abbas rally enough support, both at home and abroad, to engage in direct talks," Ashton reportedly added.

Ashton also recalled the Quartet's demand that Israel stop building in the West Bank, in order to reach a peace treaty within two years. These conditions would "be issued concurrently with the announcement of the launch of direct talks."



A Palestinian source told Reuters that the talks would be based on a Palestinian state "on the basis of pre-1967 borders. This language is what has been accepted in all the agreements over the past 18 years by Israeli prime ministers, including Netanyahu in his first term."

Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev told Reuters: "The government of Israel has been calling for the immediate start of direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians for more than a year now."


Related Content

Netflix logo
June 19, 2018
David, if arts for tomorrow is full could go to news or hold for next day

By JPOST.COM STAFF