FM slams Abbas on day of Netanyahu, PA meeting (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROF, KHALED ABU TOAMEH, JPOST.COM STAFF 04/18/12)
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During a visit to Cyprus, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was not interested in
reaching a peace agreement with Israel. The Palestinians, he said,
spent time blaming Israel rather than working to solve their own
Liberman´s comments came the same day as a meeting between Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian officials.
At the meeting, Netanyahu promised the Palestinian delegation which
met with him at his home in Jerusalem Tuesday evening that he would
send a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in two
The document will be personally delivered by an Israeli delegation.
It will be will be a response to a letter from Abbas which the
Palestinian delegation delivered to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu and Abbas have not met since September 2010. On Tuesday,
however, Netanyahu spoke with PA negotiator Saeb Erekat and the head
of Palestinian intelligence Gen. Majad Faraj in Jerusalem.
Relations between Netanyahu and the Palestinian delegation were good
during the hour and twenty minute long meeting.
Netanyahu and his office is now examining the Palestinian letter. A
preliminary reading, however, indicates that the information falls
along known lines and that there is not much that was presented which
Israel plans to continue with its efforts to put the peace process
back on track and hoped the exchange of letters between the two
leaders would advance the peace process.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who had been expected to meet with
Netanyahu, did not join the delegation. The two men have not held a
face to face meeting while they have been in office. Israeli
officials said they had understood earlier today that Fayyad did not
plan to arrive.
Fayyad was reluctant to be seen as engaging with Israel on a day when
more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike to
protest against their conditions in Israeli jails, said sources in
Sources in Ramallah said that Fayyad decided to pull out of the
delegation because the meeting was taking place on the same day that
the Palestinians marked ´Prisoner Day.´
The source said that Fayyad thought it would be inappropriate for him
to meet with Netanyahu on the same day that hundreds of Palestinian
prisoners went on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups had criticized the planned
meeting, saying it was an "insult" to the prisoners and their
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, who was also supposed to
join the delegation, also decided to stay away in the last minute,
apparently for similar reasons.
Earlier, an Israeli official said Netanyahu would reiterate his call
for talks to resume without any preconditions and for a meeting with
The last-minute cancellation may cast new light on divisions within
the Palestinian political establishment, which has struggled to craft
a winning strategy to achieve statehood.
The letter could serve as a prelude to a renewed unilateral
Palestinian move for statehood recognition in the United Nations, an
effort suspended last autumn amid stiff opposition from Washington
Palestinians said the letter would accuse Israel of failing to carry
out its obligations under a 2003 "road map" agreed by both sides,
which include a halt to settlement activity. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 04/18/12)
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