Erekat: Israel causing failure of talks

PA negotiator says continued building impedes direct talks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 4, 2010 18:33
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

Erekat 311. (photo credit: AP)

The US' intention to upgrade current peace discussion between Palestinians and Israelis to direct talks has been failing due to Israel's actions, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in an interview with a Palestinian radio station on Sunday.

"Israel refuses to give up the building in the settlements and to agree to renew the negotiations that were impeded by this stumbling block and, therefore, has failed in the intention to transform the proximity talks into direct contacts," Erekat said.

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Erekat also dismissed Washington's reports of progress in the proximity talks between both sides.

Palestinian demands for a continuation of the freeze on settlement building before beginning direct talks stand in direct contrast to Israel's desire for direct negotiations before considering to continue the freeze .

The Palestinians will have to move to direct negotiations for Israel to extend its settlement moratorium, a top Israeli negotiator said ahead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s meeting at the White House on Monday.

“Without direct talks, there’s no way he can extend the moratorium,” Mike Herzog – who until recently served as Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s chief of staff, in which capacity he frequently consulted with Obama administration officials ahead of high-level visits – said of Netanyahu.


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