Abbas to Israel: No talks without discussion on borders, prisoner release within three months
Abbas' said Tuesday that the release of prisoners is mandatory if Israelis want to continue peace talks past the deadline (File Archive/AFP)
Agence France Presse reported Tuesday that President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed peace with Israel ahead of defining the borders of a future Palestinian state.
In a televised address, Abbas said, "Since the creation of Israel, nobody knows what the borders are. We are determined to know our borders and theirs, without that there will be no peace."
The Palestinian leader's commentary is largely in response to the expiration of the U.S.-brokered peace talks Tuesday that have ultimately ended in a standoff between both negotiation teams.
Abbas' address Tuesday was to clarify the Palestinian conditions for continuing the talks past the April 29 deadline.
"If we want to extend the negotiations, there has to be a release of prisoners ... a settlement freeze, and a discussion of maps and borders for three months," Abbas said.
However, statements from the Israeli side over the past week indicate that the conditions will likely-and again-be rejected.
The peace talks came to a major halt following Israel's refusal to release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners as agreed to in July 2013 at the commencement of the talks. The Palestinians in return resumed efforts to gain recognition within the UN and related bodies, in a countermove that also violated the original conditions of the negotiations.
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