News / Middle East

    Abbas Says He Still Seeks Talks Extension

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks during a leadership meeting in Ramallah, Tuesday, April 1, 2014Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks during a leadership meeting in Ramallah, Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks during a leadership meeting in Ramallah, Tuesday, April 1, 2014
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks during a leadership meeting in Ramallah, Tuesday, April 1, 2014
    Reuters
    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he was still ready to extend stalled peace talks with Israel, as long as it met his long-standing demands to free prisoners and halt building on occupied land.
     
    Israel suspended the troubled, U.S.-sponsored negotiations with Abbas on Thursday after he signed a unity pact with rival Islamist group Hamas - a movement which has sworn to destroy Israel.
     
    Commentators said the discussions had already hit a brick wall and the United States had been struggling to extend them beyond an original April 29 deadline for a peace accord.
     
    Abbas, for the first time since the suspension, said he was still open to re-starting the talks and pushing on beyond the deadline. There was no immediate response from Israeli negotiators.
     
    “How can we restart the talks?  There's no obstacle to us restarting the talks, but the 30 prisoners need to be released,” Abbas told a meeting of senior leaders in the Palestine Liberation Organization at his presidential headquarters in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
     
    “On the table we will present our map, for 3 months we'll discuss our map.  In that period, until the map is agreed upon, all settlement activity must cease completely,” he told the officials, who were gathered for a two-day conference to asses the Palestinian strategy to achieve statehood.
     
    Talks veered toward collapse after Israel failed to release a final group of Palestinian prisoners it had pledged to free in March, and after Abbas signed several international treaties - a move that Israel said was a unilateral move towards statehood.
     
    Palestinians accused Israel of not focusing enough during the last nine months of negotiations on drawing future borders between Israel and the future state of Palestine, and they denounced the expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land.
     
    Israel accuses Abbas of being more interested in healing the national rift with Hamas than achieving a peace deal.

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    Comments
         
    by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
    April 27, 2014 1:40 PM
    The disturbing increase in global antisemitism is directly proportional to the number of illegal building permits issued by Mr Netanyahu in the West Bank. And he is very well aware of that integral part of his strategy to wreck any talk of peace.

    ‘If the BARCODE starts with 729
    Return the goods and politely DECLINE!’
    In Response

    by: Nazarene from: USA
    April 27, 2014 11:35 PM
    hey Muslim terrorist, i will make sure to note the code and buy only from Israel. I know that our community will be very happy to buy Israeli product exclusively..!! I hope Israel will show you the door to Jordan..!!! Jordan is your country... along with all the rest of the filth in the Middle east

    by: USMC from: USA
    April 26, 2014 6:05 PM
    well said Frenchy...!
    the sordid alliance of terrorists reprobates is going to cost the filthy Arabs dearly. I have read somewhere in VOA comments that the Arabs of Gaza hate the Arabs of the West Bank, and vice versa... so the "alliance" of terrorist child murderers degenerates will probably end in the death of some of the conspiring heads of Arab terrorists... either Abbas will engineer the killing of Haniyeh, or Haniyeh will conspire to kill Abbas and his family of thieves... either way, i agree that Israel should assert its sovereignty over its own territory - and grow a pair of balls... and show the Arabs the way to Jordan...!!

    by: Lauren B from: France
    April 26, 2014 5:20 PM
    my country is being devastated by the barbarities of Islamic terrorism. I hope Israel will not confuse the mask for the real face... this "Philistine Authority" is an Islamic Arab terrorist - no allied to an Al Qaeda affiliated Hamas. We have all seen the true faces of these revolting suicide child murderers degenerates.. it is a crime for the US to force Israel - a fierce liberal democracy, dependent for its survival on ultra sophisticated High Tech trade - to make concessions for what we all know is an Al Qaeda terrorist organization... on the other hand, Israel must assert control over its own destiny, stop being squeamish and drive the Islamic reprobates out of Judea and Samaria..!!! the Israelis should learn a thing or two from Assad... - and by the way, there are many countries who would give a lot to trade with Israel - if the US will allow them...

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