'PA won't begin indirect talks'

Arab League head: Abbas won't enter talks due to new building in e. J'lem.

March 11, 2010 13:06
1 minute read.
Amr Moussa.

Amr Moussa 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not enter indirect peace talks with Israel as planned, due to the approval of the Ramat Shlomo housing project in northeast Jerusalem.

“The Palestinian president has decided that he does not intend to enter negotiations at this stage,” Moussa said at a press conference in Cairo.

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The Arab League earlier Wednesday night had recommended withdrawing support for indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis due to the Ramat Shlomo announcement. The league’s Arab Peace Initiative committee called for a meeting of Arab foreign ministers to reconsider their support for the talks they extended on March 3.

The committee said Israel’s announcement Tuesday to build 1,600 new housing units showed it was not serious about negotiating, and that if the move was not halted immediately the talks would have “no meaning.”

A senior PA official in Ramallah had said earlier Wednesday that the PA would resume talks with Israel in the coming days, despite the threats and strong condemnations coming from Ramallah.

The official’s comments came after visiting US Vice President Joe Biden condemned the plan for the second time in 24 hours, this time standing in Ramallah next to Abbas.

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