Peace talks to be resumes if U.S. exerts pressure on Israel: Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hinted on Monday that there is a possibility to resume the peace negotiations with Israel, if the U.S. administration exerts pressure on Israel to halt settlement activities, Xinhua reported.
Abbas made the remarks in a first interview aired on al- Felastineya, a new Fatah movement satellite channel based in Amman. The channel was recently inaugurated and is directed by Palestinian ambassador to Cairo Nabil Amer.
"There is a possibility to resume the stalled peace negotiations (with Israel) if the American administration presses on Israel to halt settlement activities and accept the two-state vision solution," Abbas told the new Fatah satellite channel.
Abbas reiterated that he was ready to discuss "with open mind all the negotiable issues according to the international resolutions (related to resolving the Palestinian cause)."
The peace negotiations with Israel had stopped last year after Israel decided to enlarge Israeli settlements in the West Bank and carried out a series of military offensives on the blockaded Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas movement.
Asked about his Fatah movement's general assembly, due to be held on August 4 in Bethlehem in the West Bank, Abbas said "the general assembly's members can practice democracy to choose their movement's leaders."
Around 2,500 Fatah members are scheduled to convene in Bethlehem on August 4 to elect new members of the movement's central committee and the revolutionary council.
Talking about the inter-dialogue with rival Hamas movement, Abbas revealed that Hamas wanted to postpone the general elections due to be held on January 25 next year, adding that he rejected the demand to postpone the elections.
Abbas also assured that there will be no final peace agreement signed with Israel "before (Israel) releasing all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails," adding that "we will never stop calling for the release of all the prisoners."
Talking about captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in captivity since June 2006, Abbas said "Hamas' kidnapping of Shalit was completely wrong and has cost the lives of hundreds of our people."
Abbas, meanwhile, denied that there are political prisoners in his jails, adding "there is nothing called political prisoner, and we don't have any prisoner imprisoned because he belongs to Hamas. "