(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he was not a party to the proposed deal by which the US would give Israel 20 F-35 fighter jets in exchange for a three-month moratorium on building in settlements. Abbas's comments came in an interview with the London-based Arabic language daily Asharq Al-awsat published on Friday.
Abbas, speaking from Jordan, was critical of the proposed deal, meant to help renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which stalled in late September, following Israel's refusal to extend a ten-month moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements.
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"America is Israel's ally and we cannot prevent that. But attempts to renew negotiations should not be used as a pretext to provide Israel with more weapons," the PA president stated.
Abbas met with David Hale, deputy to US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, on Thursday.
"I met Hale in Ramallah yesterday, but came away empty handed. He had
nothing to offer or say," said Abbas, adding that he was waiting on
Washington to inform him of any new developments in efforts to resume
the stalled peace talks.
The report added that Abbas was scheduled to travel to Cairo over the weekend to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.