Abbas seeks PA backing for refusal to keep negotiating
PA president meets with dozens of senior Palestinians, set to brief them about latest round of talks with Mitchell; Abbas reiterates stance: "No talks under shadow of settlement construction," top aide says.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 2, 2010 13:59
1 minute read.
Netanyahu Abbas 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
RAMALLAH, West Bank —
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought the backing of
dozens of senior Palestinians on Saturday for his refusal to keep
negotiating with Israel without a slowdown in West Bank settlement
Abbas' position is clear: no negotiations under the shadow of
settlement construction," a top Abbas aide, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said
before Saturday's meeting. However, he said contacts with the US would
However, the outcome of the meeting of leading
members of the PLO, Abbas' Fatah movement and small Palestinian factions
will likely not be the last word from the Palestinians. A deadline for a
final decision was postponed twice in recent days, and a US mediator
now has until Friday to try to avert a collapse of Mideast peace talks
that were launched in Washington just a month ago.
Mitchell, Ashton to meet leaders for peace talks push
Palestinian Affairs: Abbas’s credibility problem
Abbas was set to brief the group about US envoy George Mitchell's latest unsuccessful attempts to narrow the gaps.
Mitchell, who spent four days this week shuttling
between Abbas and Netanyahu, is now trying to enlist the help of Arab
leaders, and was to meet with Qatari leaders on Saturday.
remarks published Friday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit
issued surprising criticism of the Palestinian position of making talks
contingent on the settlement building restrictions, saying the sides
should concentrate on drawing the borders of a Palestinian state.
In the West Bank, PLO and Fatah officials have overwhelmingly spoken out against continued negotiations.
Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said the
international community's failure to get Israel to halt settlement
expansion does not bode well for the talks, where much more explosive
issues will be on the table, such as the partition of Jerusalem. Ashrawi
said there's a limit to Palestinian flexibility.