RAMALLAH, August 12 (JMCC) - Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a Palestinian proposal that direct talks be based on a Quartet statement calling for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, reports Haaretz
The proposal was made in a meeting with US envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday. Its rejection means that Mitchell returns to Washington empty-handed, with no progress on initiating direct talks between Palestinian and Israels.
According to Palestinian sources, Mitchell did not dismiss Abbas' proposal. Abbas is demanding a clear framework for the direct talks and an Israeli commitment to cease construction activity in the settlement during the negotiations. Read
The Quartet - the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia - issued the statement after a meeting in Moscow on March 19. It calls for 24 months of talks between Israel and the PA that would result in an agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The statement said that the founding of the Palestinian state would end the occupation that began in 1967. It also called on Israel to institute a total freeze of construction in West Bank settlements and to refrain from home demolitions in East Jerusalem. The declaration even went so far as to mention that the international community does not recognize Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem.
Senior officials in Jerusalem who are involved in the efforts to renew direct peace talks said yesterday that Abbas' latest formula was unacceptable to Netanyahu because it sought to impose preconditions that the Israeli public would oppose.
the story at Haaretz