Fayad: No backchannel talks with Israel underway

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad denied a Yediot Ahronot report on Thursday that the Palestinians and Israel were holding backchannel peace talks - but said the two sides had begun discussing core issues that have held up an accord. "I can't say that we are now negotiating final status issues. But there are beginnings of talks about the fundamental issues that need to be agreed upon to end this conflict," Fayad told the Foreign Press Association, a group that represents some 500 journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for foreign media.