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US envoy George Mitchell meets Palestinian President

07-18-2010 13:56 BJT

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Washington's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, continued proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday. He met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. However, the peace process remains stalled as no agreement was achieved during the talks.

Mitchell is leading indirect negotiations between the Israel and Palestinians, hoping to get them to agree on issues related to the borders of future Palestinian statehood and security in the region by September.

However, in a statement made after the meeting, Mitchell made no mention of any progress on direct talks. But he insisted discussions can not be stopped.

Mitchell said, "We recognize the difficulties and complexities involved in trying to realize this vision (of a peace agreement). But we are determined to continue our efforts."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is ready to begin direct talks with Abbas right away. However, Palestinians have voiced reluctance to move to direct talks in the coming weeks.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, Top Advisor to Palestinian President, said, "There is no clear conclusion regarding the issues related to moving to direct talks. There are a number of political issues and the issue of facts on the ground, especially in Jerusalem. These issues require further clarification and more discussions between us and the Americans."

In comments published in a Jordanian newspaper on Saturday, President Abbas said that he would resume direct peace talks if Israel accepts its 1967 frontier as a baseline for the borders of a Palestinian state and agrees to the deployment of an international force to guard them.

However, it seemed unlikely Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would meet Abbas' demands.

Netanyahu has refused to be pinned down on a framework for negotiations, insisting on talks without conditions.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source:

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