PA: No Talks with Israel

PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh: Despite reports in Israeli media, no talks are taking place between Peres and Erakat.

Elad Benari, Canada, | updated: 01:18

Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas
Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority denied on Friday that any talks are currently taking place with Israel, the PA-based WAFA news agency reported.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, denied in a conversation with the news agency a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. That report claimed that talks have been taking place between the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and Israeli President Shimon Peres, and that they were fully coordinated with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Abu Rudeineh described the Haaretz report as “totally not correct,” adding, “We are committed to the Palestinian and Arab positions that say any negotiations should be clear and based on international resolutions. If Israel accepts these principles, we do not see any problem with negotiations.”

Peres has reportedly met in secret with Abbas more than once in recent months in the hopes of advancing his personal agenda of restarting negotiations despite the position of the Netanyahu government – and the vast majority of Israelis – that negotiations are not possible at this time.

He recently said that peace could exist between Israel and the Palestinian Authority “within months.”

In denying the reports of talks taking place, Abu Rudeineh once again stressed the PA’s position that negotiations should be based on the 1949 indefensible armistice lines and added that Israel should stop all settlement activities in Judea and Samaria.

Abu Rudeineh also referred to the PA’s plan to unilaterally achieve recognition of a Palestinian state in the UN in September.

“Because there are no negotiations and Israel refuses to hold serious talks that would commit it to halting settlements within the 1967 borders,” he said, “the Palestinian and Arab stance is to go to the United Nations and Security Council to demand recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and to become an official member of the UN.”