Abbas: Israel to blame if peace talks reach an empasse over borders
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday Israel will be held responsible for likely collapse of peace talks over its military control of a border with Jordan.
On Monday during a meeting with Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Abbas called on Israel to halt all its illegal settelment activities, stressing that the European Union does not recognize settelments as part of Israel.
"We will not accept it, and if they (the talks) collapse, they (Israelis) will be the reason for the collapse, not us," Abbas told the Baltic News Service during a visit to Lithuania, current holder of the European Union's rotating presidency.
Israel Daily, Maariv, reported last week that negotiations were on the verge of collapse due to security disagreement over arrangements along eastern border of future Palestine, particularly where the eastern West Bank adjoins Jordan.
Israel has long insisted on having IDF presence on the Israeli Jordanian border refusing to budge on the matter despite Palestinian objection to any Israeli military on land that could become the eastern front of a future Palestinian state.
"They don't have the right to stay in our territories after we signed a peace treaty," Abbas said Tuesday. While making it clear that he embraces a future demilitarised state.
"We want, according to the Oslo Agreement, a strong police force. This is exactly what we want, how we understand, how they understand, how the Americans understand it," Abbas added.
After a haitus of three years, tangible progress remains elusive as illegal settelment building continues in direct violation to international law, and the issue remains one of the most divisive in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.