Ahead of a meeting with US President Barack Obama, acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli premier is not a real peace partner.
Abbas, who has been invited by the US president for discussions over indirect peace talks, has reportedly told US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell that the Palestinians do not consider Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as committed to peace negotiations, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported.
"Abbas told Mitchell that the Israelis are no longer peace partners as much as the Americans are," member of Fatah’s Central Committee Abbas Zaki quoted Abbas as saying over the weekend.
According to the Fatah official, the acting Palestinian Authority chief said he would negotiate with the Obama administration rather than with Israel.
The proximity talks have long been stalled due to disagreements over key issues such as settlement activities in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the final borders and the status of al-Quds.
However, earlier in May Mitchell made a visit to the region to revive talks between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides.
In line with the US push for peace negotiations, Abbas is scheduled to meet with President Obama in Washington in June while Netanyahu will meet the US president on Tuesday, the White House announced.