Abbas wants to extend peace talks past deadline
The issue of Palestinian prisoners being released has sparked protests on both sides and delayed the peace talks. Some Israelis claim that the prisoners are terrorists and therefore should not be released. (AFP/File)
President Mahmoud Abbas says he is ready to extend peace talks based on principles and terms of reference that lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas told the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily newspaper Thursday that his move to join 15 international conventions and treaties embodied “one of the Palestinian people’s rights and Israel has nothing to do with that.”
During a meeting with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Wednesday, Abbas reviewed a report in detail about peace talks and the impasse they reached. He also updated the participants on the results of the last tripartite meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators and US mediators.
Abbas urged Arab countries to materialize a financial security network which the Kuwait Arab League summit approved. Arab countries pledged to allocate a monthly payment of $100 million to the Palestinian Authority.
Arab foreign ministers agreed in their emergency meeting to extend peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after the April 29 deadline. They urged Israel to release the last group of veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody before the Oslo Accords of 1994.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.
Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the negotiations began.