Fayyad: Direct talks not justified

PA prime minister says main issue is "about political progress."

fayyad lookin formal 311 (photo credit: AP)
fayyad lookin formal 311
(photo credit: AP)
Indirect talks have not made enough progress to justify the start of face-to-face negotiations, Reuters reported PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as saying during a visit to France Thursday.
"We have yet to see the kind of progress that would be able to justify the consideration of ... direct talks," Fayyad said. "The issue really is not so much about whether the talks are direct or indirect. The issue is about political progress."
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, also present at the Paris meeting, noted that if the talks do not make progress soon, the Arab leaders would begin to push the UN for a unilateral creation of a Palestinian state.
"If the proxmity talks don't bring progress by September, then the Arab League foreign ministers would agree on the need to act in the Security Council," he said.
"The state should not be delayed beyond this year. Who should decide? The Quartet is not enough, The Security Council is the venue," he added.
Abbas: Israel must first address borders, security
The Palestinians won’t open direct negotiations with Israel unless progress is first made on the issues of borders and security, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told US special Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Thursday.
Abbas said there would be no progress in the peace process unless Israel recognized the June 4, 1967, lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.
The PA president also said that the resumption of direct negotiations was contingent on Israel halting its “arbitrary measures” against the Palestinians, including house demolitions, arrests, closures and settlement construction.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.