Erekat: Israel wants to restart peace talks from beginning

Arab-Israel Relations Materials 22 August 2009 19:50 (UTC +04:00)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saturday said Israel wants to restart stalled peace talks with the Palestinians from the beginning instead of resuming them from the last point they left, Xinhua reported.

"The Israeli government rejects to restart the final-status talks from the last point they stopped at," said Saeb Erekat, head of negotiation department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

He also said the Israeli government, led by hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rebuffs the U.S.-backed Road Map peace plan, especially the first phase of it which calls on both sides to take a series of steps paving the way for fruitful negotiations.

Meanwhile, Erekat said "The PLO seeks peace in accordance with the international legitimacy and law."

The continuation of Jewish settlement in the West Bank -- in violation of the Road Map -- prevented the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from making any progress.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) insists that Israel should freeze all settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian lands and endorse the two-state solution.