PLO suspends negotiations, owing to settlement building
The Palestinian leadership on Saturday decided not to continue peace talks with Israel over a dispute on Jewish settlement policy in the West Bank, a spokesman said, Xinhua reported.
"There are no negotiations under the shadow of settlement," Nabil Abu Rdineh, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said after a meeting of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Central Committee of Abbas' Fatah party.
The decision, said Abu Rdineh, would be conveyed to Arab nations, which have eventually decided to meet under the Arab League peace initiative follow-up committee in the Libyan city of Sirte on October 8, to assess the situations and advise the Palestinian leadership.
George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East peace envoy, left the region on Friday after his efforts to convince Israel to renew a partial freeze on settlement rebuilding "ended in deadlock," Abu Rdineh added.
Israel had suspended the settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians claim for their future statehood, for a 10-month period, but refused to extend the moratorium when it expired on Sept. 26.
"If Israel was serious, it has to stop the settlement construction and convince the Palestinians and Arab sides," Abu Rdineh told reporters.
He noted that U.S. President Barrack Obama's administration promised to continue its efforts to bring the negotiations back on the track.