Abbas and Kerry meet in Ramallah 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority officials said over the weekend that President Mahmoud
Abbas was keeping them in the dark about US efforts to revive peace talks with
Abbas is personally in charge of the talks with US Secretary of
State John Kerry, Palestinian sources told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi
Palestinian officials who attended last Thursday’s meeting
between Kerry and Abbas in Ramallah were only permitted to present the PLO
leadership’s position and demands regarding the resumption of peace talks with
Israel, the sources said.
Kerry met with Abbas and four Palestinian
officials before holding a closed one-hour meeting with the PA
The four Palestinian officials who attended the first meeting
were Saeb Erekat, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Nabil Abu Rudaineh and Mohamed
The sources said that Abbas failed to brief the four officials
on the outcome of his closed meeting with Kerry.
“Even chief PLO
negotiator Saeb Erekat does not know the details of the discussions between
Abbas and Kerry,” the sources said. “Abbas has decided to keep everyone in the
The sources said that Abbas had also failed to brief Palestinian
officials on the results of his meeting with Kerry in Ankara several weeks
Abbas was “optimistic” about the possibility that the US would
present an initiative for reviving the peace process that would win the approval
of the Palestinian leadership, the sources said.
In a related
development, a top PA official claimed that Abbas was facing huge pressure to
return to the negotiating table with Israel unconditionally.
official told an Italian news agency that most Western foreign ministers who
visited Ramallah recently had asked Abbas to comply with US efforts to revive
the peace process even if the Americans do not get an Israeli commitment to stop
settlement construction and accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a
The official said that while there was international
understanding for the Palestinian position, there was also fear that Kerry’s
current mission would be the last chance for achieving a settlement.
situation is very difficult,” the official said. “In the end, President Abbas
will bring whatever Kerry offers to the approval of the Palestinian leadership
and the Arab League.”