Abbas says no progress in peace talks with Israel 26Aug13 August 26, 2013

Palestine News Network      -      25 August 2013

abbas_and_the_mertz_340_220Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that there has been no progress made, whatsoever, in the first four meetings since diplomatic talks resumed between Israeli and Palestinian delegations.

Abbas’ statements came during a meeting with representatives from the Israeli Meretz party, headed by its chairwoman, Zahava Gal-On, in his Ramallah headquarters.

Several Palestinian leaders expressed a lack of optimism concerning the peace talk. The President said he “hopes they are not a waste of time” and that an agreement will be reached between Israelis and the Palestinians over the next six months.

Abbas reiterated his commitment to achieving a comprehensive and just peace agreement based on the two-state solution, in order to establish the independent state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.

He asserted that the two sides are not meeting often enough and said the delegations should be meeting every day, and that he wants to meet with Netanyahu directly.

The President also told the group that Israel’s ongoing construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods does not create the appropriate atmosphere for the current peace talks. Additionally he stressed that the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails was unrelated to the launching of the peace talks.

He said that the third round of negotiations will be held in Jericho and Jerusalem on Tuesday and expressed great dissatisfaction with the absence of a US representative in the talks. Israel remains opposed to the presence of a US official.

In a statement issued Thursday, the PA’s Foreign Ministry called on Palestinian and regional parties to “document Israeli violations regarding settlement activities in preparation for pursuing legal measures against Israel in international forums and courts.”

The ministry urged the Quartet members, especially the US, to take immediate action to stop all forms of construction. It said that Israel’s actions constitute a flagrant violation of international law and the Geneva Convention and will lead to the destruction of the peace process.

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