PLO cabinet to meet Monday over failed talks 29Jan12 January 29, 2012

Ma’an News Agency  -  28 January 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee will meet Monday in the West Bank to discuss failed talks with Israeli envoys this month, committee members said on Saturday.

Wasil Abu Yousif, who is also secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Front, said the cabinet meeting would prepare for a Feb. 4 summit with the Arab League follow-up committee, after a deadline set by the international Quartet for resuming negotiations passed without agreement.

Fellow committee member and former Nablus mayor Ghassan Shakaa said the PLO meeting “will be decisive, focusing on the Amman talks and their aftermath.”

Hanan Ashrawi, another cabinet member, said the meeting will discuss follow-up to talks with Israeli envoys, as well as the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.

Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel will not be resumed until Israel completely halts settlement activities, and recognizes East Jerusalem as capital of the future Palestinian state, she told Ma’an.

PLO officials held five exploratory meetings with Israeli representatives in the Jordanian capital during January. The diplomatic Quartet — Russia, UN, US and European Union negotiators — had called for the sides to give their positions on borders and security by Jan. 26.

The PLO said it had done so in early January, and received only a verbal presentation by the Israeli delegate in return. The Israeli presentation “killed the two-state solution, set aside previous agreements and international law,” a PLO official told Reuters after the meeting.

Abu Yousif said a return to direct negotiations had been blocked by the Israel government’s “failure to propose any practical vision on the major issues of security and borders.” In contrast, the Palestinian delegates had presented a clear vision on borders and security as requested by the Quartet, he said.

When Palestinian leaders meet the Arab League follow-up committee next week, they will confirm their commitment to Palestinian reconciliation, full membership of the UN, and the extension of resistance to all occupied Palestinian territories, Abu Yousif said.

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