Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said that the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have entered a difficult crisis after Washington's decision to refrain from asking Israel to freeze settlements in the West Bank as a condition for the resumption of direct negotiations. Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper quoted Abbas as saying after a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, "I do not doubt that there is a crisis .. a difficult crisis."
Abbas voiced his hope to see the participation of the European Union in the peace process in order to to allow the resumption of negotiations. "We hope that soon the the European Union will play a role with the United States."
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Abed Rabbo on Wednesday was asked about Washington's ability to influence Israel to freeze settlement activity and he replied that the policy of the U.S. administration failed as it received a heavy blow from the Government of Israel. He hoped to see a change in the US policy taking into account the Israeli refusal.
And he asked: "If this administration is unable to persuade Israel to stop even for a limited time for serious negotiations, how will it be able to compel Israel to evacuate settlements on the basis of international legitimacy and the two-state solution?"
Abed Rabbo added: "This failure leads us again to go to a wider international context." He expressed surprise at the American position that refuses to back Brazil and Argentina's recognition of a Palestinian state. "In a time when the administration announced the failure of its efforts it also expresses dissatisfaction with the recognition of Brazil and Argentina."