RAMALLAH, August 15 (JMCC) - Palestinians will announce a start to direct talks with Israel
in days, a US official told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Meanwhile, a senior Fatah official, Azam al-Ahmed, who is accompanying Abbas on a visit to Qatar, said on Saturday that the Palestinian Authority would announce on Sunday or Monday its position on resuming direct talks with Israel. Read
Palestinian sources said last week real progress had been made following a meeting between Abbas and U.S. special envoy George Mitchell.
Abbas is demanding that the negotiations have a clear framework for the ideas that will be put in place; he also wants a commitment by Israel to cease settlement construction during the direct talks.
The Palestinian leader told Mitchell that the Quartet would reiterate its declaration from March that included a call for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an end to the occupation that began in 1967.
There would be the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and an end to settlement construction. In addition, residents of Jerusalem would not be expelled from their homes and the two sides would not take any unilateral steps.
the story at Haaretz