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Abbas suspends direct peace talks with Israel

10-03-2010 08:31 BJT

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has suspended direct peace talks with Israel, after meeting with dozens of senior Palestinian leaders in Ramallah. The move threatens to collapse a fragile peace process that restarted a month ago.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday chaired a joint meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee and his Fatah party's central committee.

After the two-hour meeting, Palestinians decided to suspend direct peace talks with Israel, until the Israeli government freezes settlement construction in territories they claim will be part of a future Palestinian state.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, Senior Palestinian Official, said, "The Palestinian leadership holds Israel responsible for obstructing the negotiations and the political process and thwarting the political efforts of the American administration, the Quartet and the entire international community. Likewise, the Palestinian leadership confirms that the resumption of negotiations requires tangible steps, to prove they are serious, at the forefront of them, a freeze on settlements, without conditions or exceptions."

The Palestinian leadership's decision was made one week after a 10-month Israeli government moratorium to freeze settlements expired. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend the moratorium, despite appeals by the US and the European Union to keep the building curb in place.

A top aide to the Palestinian President said that Abbas was clear there could be "no negotiations under the shadow of settlement construction." However, contacts with the US would continue.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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