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Key to direct negotiations in Netanyahu's hands: chief negotiator

07-28-2010 08:43 BJT

AMMAN, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday the key to direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations is in the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whom he said should choose between "settlements or peace. "

Netanyahu should first accept the terms of reference under which Israel recognizes a Palestinian state at the borders of 1967, agrees on swap of land, and completely halts settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank before going to direct talks, Erekat said in a press conference also attended by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos on Tuesday.

"We want the entire world to realize that the key to direct talks is in Netanyahu's hands whose measures of settlements, murder and destruction close the door for such negotiations," Erekat said after Moratinos held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman.

At the press conference, Erekat said the issue is not about going to direct talks or not. He said "it is about the content of these talks. We want a clear reference that leads to the two-state solution and creating a Palestinian state at the borders of 1967 and stopping settlement activities including in East Jerusalem to ensure the success of these negotiations."

"These are international obligations that Israel should meet and the Palestinians do not put conditions on anyone. We are a nation that lives under occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip," said Erekat.

For his part, Moratinos stressed the EU's support for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The EU supports a fair final settlement for the Palestinian- Israeli dispute that is based on the 1967 borders with agreed exchange of territory and with Jerusalem as the capital of two states, and security for Israel," the Spanish foreign minister told reporters at the press conference.

"Now the involved parties have really to promote this framework of reference for the two sides to engage seriously in direct talks, Moratinos added.

During the talks between Moratinos and Abbas, the two sides discussed latest developments in the pace process.

They also discussed the latest development in the peace process and results of proximity talks that started between the Palestinians and the Israelis in May.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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