Israel: Abbas conditions for direct talks "impossible" to accept
Silvan Shalom, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, on Wednesday said that it was "impossible" to accept the conditions set by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to move to direct negotiations with Israel.
Quoted by the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, Shalom said: "The Palestinians put three conditions which make it impossible to resume negotiations. They want to resume negotiations from the point they reached at the end of 2008, when Ehud Olmert was the prime minister, they want to concentrate on full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and to maintain construction freeze in settlements."
Abbas said Monday he was ready to hold direct negotiations with Israel just after agreeing on the framework of the talks and its specifications.
For his part, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that direct negotiations should be the interest of all parties, but added no one should "link between the start of direct negotiations to the freeze of construction in settlements."