Continued stalemate will have ‘negative impact,’ Abbas says

PA president expresses concern over what vexation from stalled negotiations will lead to; says majority of Israelis interested in peace.

Abbas 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Abbas 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Tuesday that the continued stalemate in the peace process would have a “negative impact” on Palestinians and Israelis.
“At present, there is no movement in the peace process,” Abbas said in an interview with the PA’s Al-Ayyam newspaper. “America has failed to convince Israel to stop the settlement construction for a certain period of time in return for weapons and security assistance.”
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Abbas said that he was still waiting to hear new proposals from the US regarding the revival of the peace talks with Israel.
“The continued stalemate is not good because we don’t want people to become frustrated,” Abbas said. “The Palestinian and Israeli peoples are ready for peace and the region is awaiting peace. No one knows what would happen if there’s no progress.”
He added that he would be prepared to talk to Israelis after Israel freezes construction in the settlements. He rejected Israel’s talk about the possibility of conducting peace talks in a closed room.
“They always say these things,” Abbas said. “But we say that we are prepared to talk with them after they stop the settlements. The obstacle is not with us. Cessation of settlement construction is an American and international demand.”
Abbas said that the Palestinians were now proceeding on four tracks: building state institutions by September, seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state, reviving the peace process and achieving reconciliation with Hamas.
Abbas is due to return on Wednesday to Ramallah, where he will receive condolences over the death of his older brother, Ata Abbas, who died in Syria earlier this week.