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Abbas: Initiatives unacceptable without call for settlement halt

Arab World Materials 24 September 2011 23:02
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday ruled out any peace proposals that did not include an end to Israeli settlement building or proposed the 1967 lines as borders of the Palestinian state, dpa reported.
Abbas: Initiatives unacceptable without call for settlement halt

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday ruled out any peace proposals that did not include an end to Israeli settlement building or proposed the 1967 lines as borders of the Palestinian state, dpa reported.

"Any initiative that does not include a call for halting (Israeli) settlement activities and does not recognize the 1967 borders will not be dealt with," Abbas told reporters on board his flight from New York to Jordan, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The comment was seen as a reference to a statement by the so-called quartet of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, proposed Friday to revive the stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

The quartet statement calls on Israelis and Palestinians to reach some form of agreement before the end of next year, but makes no mention of Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories, nor does it refer to the 1967 borders as a point of reference - as demanded by the Palestinians to resume negotiations.

Nevertheless, Abbas said that he would not comment on the quartet statement before studying it. He planned to convene his top officials for a meeting upon his return to Ramallah, expected to be on Sunday.

"We will not neglect any political initiative and it is politically wrong to ignore initiatives, because there may be some positive elements in them which we can build on and develop," he said.

The quartet statement was issued following Abbas' speech at the United Nations General Assembly, where he submitted a UN membership application for a Palestinian state.

Abbas said it could take the UN Security Council up to 65 days before discussing the Palestinian statehood application.

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