Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas..
(photo credit: AP)
The most important Palestinian goal for peace negotiations is establishing the borders of a future, Israeli-free Palestinian state, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in comments to Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam published Monday morning.
"We clarified that [the Palestinian Authority] would not agree to continued Israeli presence, military or civil, within a future Palestinian state," Abbas said.
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Abbas continued, "Borders is the topic most important to us, security is
the topic most important to them." He went on to explain that the
issues of borders and security would be discussed first and that "right
of return" of Palestinian refugees was of lower importance and would be
dealt with later on in the talks.
On Sunday, the State
Department announced that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to take part in the second round of
negotiations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abbas in Sharm e- Sheikh on September 14, and then continue
the discussions “with both parties” the next day in Jerusalem.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.