Abbas aide: Talks only with full settlement freeze
Nabil Shaath quoted as saying PA president wants complete halt to construction before meeting PM.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will only meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu if the US convinces Israel to put a full settlement construction freeze in place, according to a Reuters report Monday.
The report quoted Abbas aide Nabil Shaath as saying that the PA president would only resume negotiations with a complete halt to settlement activity, without "loopholes," as well as a commitment from Israel to establish a Palestinian state.
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Shaath said that the settlement freeze must not be limited by "artificial time frames."
He further specified that the halt should apply not only to the West Bank, but also to east Jerusalem.
When asked, hypothetically, how the PA would respond to a request from Washington and US President Barack Obama to resume negotiations with Israel based on a limited settlement freeze, the Abbas aide was quoted as saying, "I would say, Mr Obama, we love you ... but I am sorry, this is not enough to bring us to the peace process."
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