Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said Friday that he hoped that negotiators in a new round of peace talks in Washington were close to reaching an agreement, but that nothing concrete had yet emerged.
Speaking after a meeting with German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, Arafat was asked if the negotiators in Washington were near to reaching an agreement.
He said: "I hope so."
However, when asked if there had been any progress in ending the decades-old conflict with Israel, he said: "Not yet. Up to now there is no final result."
Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo, quoted Friday in the Al-Ayyam daily's section dedicated to late-breaking news, said the talks had entered a "hard crisis and there has not been progress on any issue."
Generally, the Israeli and Palestinian media highlighted what they said was substantial progress in the talks.
Israeli newspapers reported that the Jewish state has agreed to negotiate on the basis of the June 1967 borders, a consistent Palestinian demand.
In the June 1967 Middle East War -- also known as the Six Day War -- Israel captured the Gaza Strip and the West Bank among other territories, including the eastern sector of Jerusalem -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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