Abbas wants Israel sign on borders and security before talks
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Wednesday he wanted an Israeli "signal" on the key issues of security and borders before heeding US calls for a resumption of direct peace talks.world Updated: Jul 07, 2010 19:28 IST
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Wednesday he wanted an Israeli "signal" on the key issues of security and borders before heeding US calls for a resumption of direct peace talks.
"We are ready to go for direct talks if we receive any signals from the Israeli side on two issues, the borders and the security," Abbas said in English during an official visit to Ethiopia.
"We have presented our proposals to both the Americans and the Israelis and we are waiting for an Israeli impression and reaction," he told reporters after meeting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
US President Barack Obama this week expressed hope that direct talks would start before the end of September after a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu says he is ready to meet Abbas at any time and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday he could see direct negotiations getting under way "within a few weeks".
But the Palestinians have yet to commit to direct talks, accusing Israel of undermining the atmosphere with continuing settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land.
Obama said he hoped progress towards direct negotiations from indirect US-brokered proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians would render an October 1 deadline for ending a partial Israeli settlement freeze irrelevant.
"My hope is that once direct talks have begun, well before the moratorium has expired, that that will create a climate in which everybody feels a greater investment in success," he said.