Clinton-Abbas hold ‘productive talks’ but no word on meeting with Netanyahu (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By MICHAL SHMULOVICH 07/06/12)
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PA leader says Israel must release pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners
before he’ll sit with PM
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas held “productive” talks on moving Israeli-
Palestinian negotiations forward in Paris Friday. The two leaders
held face-to-face talks — their first since 2011 — alongside the
Friends of Syria meeting, some 10 days before Clinton’s scheduled
visit to the region.
Clinton said she wanted to build upon the recent exchange of letters
between Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and move toward a
possible meeting between the two leaders.
Abbas told Clinton he did not get an answer from Netanyahu on his
demand for the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners held in
Israel since before the Oslo Accords. Abbas called the prisoners’
release a pre-condition to meeting with Netanyahu, who in turn, has
said the issue could be resolved when they meet, Israel Radio
Abbas said Israel had agreed to release those prisoners and that if
Netanyahu followed through he would be willing to meet with him.
Since peace talks between the PA and Israel broke down in the fall of
2010, the PA has also demanded that Israel halt all settlement
expansion as a condition for resuming negotiations. Netanyahu has
offered to meet Abbas without preconditions.
Clinton told reporters there “must be a solution” to the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict and that the US remains “absolutely committed to
the goal of… two states with two peoples based on peace and
security.” She said Israeli-Palestinian peace was of critical
importance to the entire Middle East. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
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