Netanyahu: Talks to begin in August

PM says direct negotiations with Palestinians will start in two weeks.

Bibi worried 311 (photo credit: AP)
Bibi worried 311
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced at a ministerial meeting Sunday that direct negotiations with the Palestinians will begin by the middle of August.
Netanyahu added that at this point he had not received any Palestinian peace program.
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"There is no change in settlement freeze conditions," added Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's comments come after Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians are proposing a detailed peace plan proposal that covers all the core issues.
Erekat stated that this proposal is the best one to date and covers issues such as Jerusalem, borders and refugees.
"We presented the proposal to [US Middle East envoy] George Mitchell over two months ago so that he would offer it to [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu, however we still haven't received any answers.
Erekat refused to reveal the details of the plan but said that the Palestinians do not want to disqualify Netanyhau as a partner for peace.
" I hope that [Netanyahu] will be a partner to peace so that we can reach a solution involving two states for two nations," the chief negotiator said.
Erekat also mentioned the letter that US President Barack Obama sent to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying that if the Palestinians don't enter direct talks then relations with Washington will be damaged.
"The letter did not contain threats, he requested that we enter into direct talks and stand shoulder to shoulder so that we can reach a two state solution," Erekat added.
Erekat expressed his opposition to rockets being targeted at Israel from Gaza.
"We have always opposed the launching of rockets towards Israel, we want a cease fire with the eventual goal of an end to the conflict," Erekat said.