Spanish minister to meet Abbas in Amman to push for direct talks
The Spanish foreign minister is to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman on Tuesday for talks on moving from the current US-brokered proximity talks between the Palestinians and Israel to direct negotiations, Palestinian diplomatic sources said Monday.
Miguel Angel Moratinos will be following up his previous efforts during Spain's presidency of the European Union, which expired on June 30, to push forward the stalled Middle East peace process, the sources told German Press Agency dpa.
"The president will update Moratinos on the outcome of the proximity talks and the Palestinian conditions for moving into direct negotiations," the sources said.
Abbas has said that the transition to face-to-face talks with Israel hinged on the accomplishment of adequate progress in the proximity talks, now in their fourth month.
He told the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah group last week that Israel must accept the 1967 lines as the framework for the future borders of the Palestinian state.
He also wanted an extension of Israel's 10-month moratorium on the construction of settlements in the West Bank which is due to expire in September.
Moratinos' meeting with Abbas coincides with a new round of Arab diplomacy due to culminate later this week with a visit to four Arab countries - Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt - by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
US President Barack Obama is reportedly pressing Abbas and other moderate Arab leaders to support a shift to direct talks.
He spoke on the telephone with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Friday when they discussed steps aimed at achieving "tangible progress" towards the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state.
Arab foreign ministers are due to meet later this week to appraise the feasibility of shifting to direct negotiations