PA Spokesman Denies Reports of Negotiations with Israel

Palestinian Authority presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh on Friday denied Israeli media reports that Saeb Erekat and Shimon Peres had been meeting in an attempt to relaunch peace talks.

Abu Rudeineh described the reports as "totally not correct" adding that "we are committed to the Palestinian and Arab positions that say any negotiations should be clear and based on international resolutions," the PA official news agency WAFA reported.

"If Israel accepts these principles, we do not see any problem with negotiations.

"Because there are no negotiations and Israel refuses to hold serious talks that would commit it to halting settlements within the 1967 borders, the Palestinian and Arab stance is to go to the United Nations and Security Council to demand recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and to become an official member of the UN.”

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Friday that Israeli President Shimon Peres and PA official Saeb Erekat had met a number of times this week in an attempt to overcome some of the obstacles to relaunching negotiations.

The report said one of the major issues was the Israeli objection to 1967 borders, with both officials reportedly looking over maps in an attempt to reach a compromise on territorial exchanges.

According to Haaretz, a Palestinian source confirmed that Erekat had met with Peres this week while the offices of Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to comment on the report.

Israel and the United States are openly opposed to the Palestinian UN bid.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in September 2010 after Netanyahu refused to stop building illegal settlements on land that the Palestinians want for their future state.

Netanyahu rejected US President Obama’s call in May for negotiations to be based on 1967 borders, claiming that they were "indefensible."

Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967.

(Ma’an News)

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