Palestine says US-Israel talks at 'dead end' over settlements

Netanyahu, who met U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington last month, has yet to respond formally to a U.S. demand for confidence-building steps for peace talks.

Palestine says US-Israel talks at 'dead end' over settlements

The United States has reached a dead end in its attempts to revive Middle East peace talks, a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday, citing Israeli settlements on occupied land.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has demanded a full freeze to Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank before any resumption of negotiations suspended since December 2008.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the Palestinians wanted "U.S. guarantees" that Israel would not issue more tenders to build on land where the Palestinians aim to establish a state, including East Jerusalem.

Israel must also cancel plans announced last month for more building in parts of Jerusalem it captured, along with the West Bank in a 1967 war, Erekat added.

"This is what we expect," Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio.

"But it appears that all the consultations that have happened with the Israeli government and the American administration and other states have reached a dead end with Israeli positions insisting on a continuation of settlement."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had met U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein on Monday, Erekat added.

"No answer yet"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington last month, has yet to respond formally to a U.S. demand for confidence-building steps for peace talks.

"It appears that Netanyahu is defying the entire international community, at the forefront of it the American administration, with his rejection of a settlement halt, which is obstructing the start of indirect negotiations," Erekat said.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last week that Obama wanted Israel to freeze construction in East Jerusalem for four months.

But, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would not agree to freeze building anywhere in the city. "Not in the west of the city and not in the east of the city, either for Jews or for Arabs," Lieberman, head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, told Israel Radio.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2010, 16:04

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE