Palestinian negotiators willing to extend peace talks, agree to preliminary deal goal
Saeb Erekat's comments represent the first time that Palestine has agreed to the goal of finding a preliminary deal as a first step to a final deal (File Archive/AFP)
The lead Palestinian negotiator in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks told the Associated Press Wednesday that his negotiation team is "ready to extend" its current peace talks with Israel beyond the April deadline.
According to Saeb Erekat, Palestinians are willing to continue negotiations after April if a framework is agreed upon and implemented to achieve peace accordingly. The leader emphasized that the framework must be a "deatailed skeleton" that "addresses all core issues."
Erekat's comments also represent the first time that Palestinians have agreed to the U.S. idea of seaking a "preliminary" rather than "final" peace deal as a first step.
Israel and Palestine began this round of peace negotiations in July after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the conflicting groups to resume stalled talks from 2010. The talks thus far have not been very successful, with Israeli construction plans in the West Bank largely undermining the legitimacy and progress of the negotiations.
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