Abbas sees "no progress" in proximity talks with Israel
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the US-brokered indirect talks with Israel had produced "no progress" so far.
"In fact there is no progress in negotiations, and the situation is still as it was," Abbas told the chief editors of Jordanian newspapers during a stopover in Amman, DPA reported.
He was responding to US reports that a progress was achieved in the ongoing proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The indirect talks, mediated by US special envoy George Mitchell, got under way in late April, more than a year after the previous round of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had been suspended when Israel entered an election period in late 2008.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the Palestinians to move into direct talks.
The issue is expected to top Netanyahu's talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority had presented the US administration with "a written full vision" on final status issues including East Jerusalem, frontiers and security.
"If Netanyahu acknowledges that these issues are negotiable, this means that progress is being made and we will be moving to direct talks," the Palestinian president said.
"But if we don't get a reply until September, which represents the deadline set by the Arab follow-up committee, a new meeting (of Arab foreign ministers) will convene to decide the next step," he added.
Abbas said that the Palestinians "will not give up" East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war, but expressed readiness to accept slight mutual changes in the 1967 borders.
He described his recent meeting with Jewish leaders in the US as "fruitful" and revealed that he was planning a meeting with Jewish leaders in France in response to a proposal by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Abbas charged that the rival Hamas group, which is in control of the Gaza Strip, was trying to resume military activity in the West Bank, and vowed to prevent any military resistance in the territory.
"Every week we discover military cells and caches of arms and missiles" for Hamas, he said.