Abbas expects "hard" pressure to start direct talks
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expects "hard pressure and difficult days" to accept a U.S. plea to start direct peace negotiations with Israel, a Palestinian newspaper reported Wednesday.
However, Abbas is going to "resist this peacefully," the Ramallah-based Al-Hayyat newspaper quoted Abbas as saying. Abbas made his remarks last night during a meeting of the Central Committee of his Fatah party, the report said, Xinhua reported.
Washington wants Abbas to resume face-to-face negotiations with Israel even before the end of a four-month indirect proximity discussion between the Palestinians and Israel, brokered by the United States in May.
Abbas added that he received a verbal message from U.S. President Barack Obama asking him to start direct negotiations, but the message "was unclear" in the way it defines the occupied lands.
"We can't go to the direct talks, as blind, without clarity," Abbas had reportedly told members of the Central Committee who met to evaluate the U.S.-mediated proximity talks.
Abbas reiterated that the Palestinians want the indirect discussions "to come out with an achievement allowing the resumption of the direct negotiations."
The proximity talks should reach "a clear" agreement about the borders of the future Palestinian state, Abbas added.