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Palestinians deny reported contacts with Israel

Arab-Israel Relations Materials 29 July 2011 18:33
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday denied a report that there had been secret contacts with Israeli officials in order to find a way to resume peace
Palestinians deny reported contacts with Israel

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday denied a report that there had been secret contacts with Israeli officials in order to find a way to resume peace talks dpa reported

Israel's Haaretz newspaper had reported that such talks between chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli President Shimon Peres had taken place.

Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement that the report was "absolutely not correct".

"We are committed to the Palestinian and Arab positions that say any negotiations should be clear and based on international resolutions," he said.

"If Israel accepts these principles, we do not see any problem with negotiations."

He stressed that negotiations should be based on the pre-Israeli occupation 1967 borders of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and that Israel should stop all settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.

According to Haaretz, Peres and Palestinian officials have been holding "intensive talks" in an attempt to restart stalled peace talks, and forestall a Palestinian initiative to get United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state.

The report said talks are being held "in complete coordination" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The newspaper cited and unnamed "senior Palestinian source" in Ramallah as having confirmed that Peres and Erekat have held several meetings.

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