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Mitchell-Abbas meeting ends without progress

2010-04-24 15:22 BJT

RAMALLAH, April 23 (Xinhua) -- A meeting held in Ramallah between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell over resuming the peace talks ended on Friday night without achieving any progress, a senior Palestinian official said.

U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell delivers a speech before his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 23, 2010. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)
U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell delivers a speech before his meeting with Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 23, 2010.(Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters at the end of a two-hour meeting that the proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians are not going to be launched within the coming days.

However, Erekat said, "The talks with the American side will continue," adding "We hope that all the issues are clear by carrying on our talks with the American side because we want to give a chance to the American efforts."

Erekat said the talks between Abbas and Mitchell was "very deep and will keep going on," adding "We haven't been able to conclude all the points, but our talks either with Mitchell or with his deputy David Hill, who will stay in the region, will continue."

The Palestinian negotiator stressed that "the decision over the resumption of talks is based on the clarifications that we will receive from the Americans," adding "Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will make its final decision after we receive these clarifications."

"The Palestinian leadership was officially informed by the Arab League's Secretary General Amr Moussa that the Arab League Committee of foreign ministers will convene on May 1, to discuss the U.S. clarifications," Erekat said. "Then Mitchell will return to the region to continue his talks with us."

Erekat noted that the Palestinians "want to achieve an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, which started in 1967. This occupation obstructs the resumption of the talks."

"Israel insists on keeping using the language of dictations, expansion of settlements, raids, incursions, siege and assassinations," said Erekat.

Mitchell had said earlier on Friday that in spite of the current difficulties, the U.S. is determined to achieve peace.

Mitchell, who arrived in the region on Thursday evening, and held talks on Friday with Hawkish Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, arrived in Ramallah to hold talks with Abbas in a bid to push forward the stalled peace process.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: Xinhua