PA ready for talks if response to Abbas letter positive (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 04/22/12)
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If Israel responds positively to Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas’s recent letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
the Palestinians will be prepared to return to the negotiating table,
a spokesman for Abbas said on Saturday.
The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, was speaking to reporters in
Ramallah following a meeting between Abbas and David Hale, the US
envoy to the Middle East.
Abu Rudaineh said that Abbas briefed the US emissary on the content
of the letter, which was delivered to Netanyahu last week by Chief
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian
General Intelligence Service in the West Bank.
The letter outlined the PA’s position toward the resumption of the
peace talks and warned against the demise of the two-state solution,
a PA official said.
“The letter demanded a full cessation of settlement activities in the
West Bank and Jerusalem, and Israeli recognition of the 1967
borders,” the official told The Jerusalem Post.
“If we don’t receive a positive answer, we will resume our efforts to
achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state. We will also pursue
our efforts to isolate the policies of the occupation and expose
Israel’s ambitions in our lands, water and holy sites.”
During Saturday’s meeting, Abbas told Hale that he was expecting an
Israeli response to his letter within two weeks, Abu Rudaineh
said. “If the Israeli reply is positive, this would be an encouraging
sign to move in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, sources in Ramallah said over the weekend that relations
between Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, have been further
strained after the latter refused to deliver the letter to Netanyahu.
Abbas’s office had originally announced that a delegation headed by
Fayyad would deliver the letter to Netanyahu.
But hours before the scheduled meeting, Fayyad surprised the PA
leadership by refusing to head the delegation.
One source quoted Fayyad as saying that that he does not work as
a “postman” for Abbas and Fatah.
Another source said that Fayyad decided to boycott the meeting with
Netanyahu because he did not want to be seen with an Israeli prime
minister on the same day that Palestinians marked “Prisoner Day.”
PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo was also supposed to be part
of the delegation that met with Netanyahu.
However, Abed Rabbo decided at the last minute to boycott the meeting
to protest against Abbas’s failure to brief PLO officials on the
content of his letter to Netanyahu. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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