Palestinian Authority’s Abbas says talks with Israel at impasse
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REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK -– Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that exploratory peace talks with Israel are at an impasse.
The latest round of the talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman, was held Wednesday. Palestinian and Jordanian officials said the talks will be on hold for a week for evaluation and to give Abbas time to consult with Palestinian and Arab officials on whether to continue with them or not.
But at two meetings with foreign officials visiting Ramallah to help salvage the talks, Abbas said the negotiations are at a dead end.
Abbas told one of his guests that ‘Israeli intransigence and refusal to submit clear proposals on the issues of borders and security as requested by the quartet [of Middle East peace mediators] have blocked the way to continue with the exploratory talks,’ according to the official WAFA news agency.
In the second meeting, Abbas briefed his guest on the latest developments in the peace process, ‘particularly the impasse in the exploratory meetings being held in Amman as a result of Israeli government rejection of the two-state solution and a stop to settlements,’ WAFA reported.
Abbas will spend the coming week in consultations on the talks, first on Sunday with his Fatah party Central Committee and on Monday with the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Next Saturday, he will consult with the Arab League committee following up on the peace talks, which he said will make the final decision on whether to proceed with them.
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-- Maher Abukhater