Abbas: No freeze no talks
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmud Abbas said on Monday he will not continue in US-backed peace talks "for a single day" if Israel does not extend a freeze on settlement building at the month's end. "The negotiations will continue as long as the settlement (construction) remains frozen, but I am not prepared to negotiate an agreement for a single day more," Abbas told AFP.
Speaking en route to New York on Monday, Abbas noted he was "not opposed to a settlement freeze for a month or two" and that it was possible "to conclude a peace deal on all final status issues if the settlement freeze is extended." "If Israel stops the settlement and shows goodwill, then we can reach an agreement on borders and security, and agreement on other matters like the status of Jerusalem, water and settlements will follow" in due course, he conveyed.
Abbas also said the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails should be resolved within the framework of any agreement.
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