Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas..
(photo credit: REUTERS/ISSAM RIMAWI/POOL)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ramallah Tuesday with US
envoy Martin Indyk and discussed with him the latest developments surrounding
the peace talks with Israel.
A PA official said that the two sides
“assessed” the outcome of the previous rounds of talks between the Palestinians
and Israel, of which the two sides have held eight meetings.
negotiator Saeb Erekat and US Consul-General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney were
also present, the official said.
The meeting came as Palestinian
officials continue to talk about the lack of progress in the peace
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo told the Voice of
Palestine radio station that the “indicators” of the talks thus far have been
Abed Rabbo claimed that Israel was seeking to “draw borders in
accordance with its security interests.” He warned that if this happens, “We
will witness endless wars.”
Abed Rabbo said that during the talks, Israel
demanded to retain control over the border with Jordan, something the
Palestinians have rejected.
In New York on Tuesday, UN special
coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry lauded both Israeli
and Palestinian leaders for their “bold decisions” to meet and “pursue their
“We encourage all sides to accelerate and
intensify their discussions,” Serry said. “It is perhaps understandable that
skeptics continue to question the substance of these talks. However at
this stage, public comments would be counterproductive.”
Serry also urged
both parties to remain focused and “not neglect the prospect for peace, even
against the background of turmoil elsewhere in the neighborhood.”
repeatedly urged restraint by both parties and pointed to the 282 IDF operations
carried out in the West Bank – in which five Palestinians died in Jenin and
Kalandiya – as destabilizing factors in the peace process. He also called the
continued settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem
“counterproductive and against international law.”
He also noted the
September 1 arrests of two Palestinian men in east Jerusalem whose plans for a
terrorist attack were at an “advanced stage,” and the attempted launching of
nine rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, two of which exploded at their
launch sites and the other seven of which landed within Gaza.
touched on the situation in Sinai and recognized “Egypt’s legitimate security
concerns and the need to effectively counter illegal activities.”
further condemned the car bombing in Tripoli, Lebanon that killed 45 people, and
also pointed out cross-border gun fire that came from Syria into Lebanon, as
well as four rockets that were fired from the Tyre area in Southern Lebanon into
Israel, claimed by the terrorist group Abdallah Azzam Brigade.
finished his talk by again turning to the peace process. “Twenty years of
endless negotiations, prolonged occupation, terror and conflict have deeply
affected perception and expectations within both Israeli and Palestinian
societies and undermined the belief that peace is possible,” he said. “We do not
underestimate the challenges ahead… it is for their leaders to act in the best
interests of their people.”