The Palestinian Authority rejected late Monday a proposal from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak which envisages "a gradual agreement" for a peace deal with the Palestinians.
"The time for interim agreements is passed (and) we will not agree to sign a new one. We must reach a final agreement as soon as possible with international guarantees," Nabil Abu Rudeina, a close aide to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat told AFP.
Barak's suggestion was made during a meeting of the Labor Party and was transmitted on public radio. He said it was "only possible to reach a final agreement that will be applied gradually, in such a way as it will be transformed in fact into an interim agreement."
The Israeli Prime Minister said he favored this formula as the Palestinians had "some problems with the expression of a long term interim accord."
According to the autonomy agreements reached in 1993 and 1994, the Palestinian territories should have an autonomy status for five years, which would give way to a final peace agreement.
But the negotiations for this final agreement, which would include the thorniest issues such as the future of the Arab part of Jerusalem, the settlements, borders and the future of the Palestinian entity have not produced results.
Afarat has frequently rejected the idea of new interim accords and insists on a final agreement setting up a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967, as its capital -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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