Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas held four secret meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres in a bid to revive stalled peace talks, a PA official told AFP on Saturday.
The official quoted Abbas as saying at a meeting of his Fatah party on Friday, “I met Shimon Peres four times in Amman and London in an attempt to restart negotiations and the peace process on a correct foundation.
He did not state what Peres wished to promise Abbas that PM Netanyahu did not sanction. Peres is the architect of the disastrous Oslo Accords which were negotiated behind the backs of the Israeli public and the Knesset. Then-Prime Minister Rabin himself only heard of them a year after they had begun.
“Shimon Peres assured me that the negotiations between us could lead to results that could be adopted by the Netanyahu government,” the official quoted Abbas as saying, but noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thwarted those efforts.
“After the first four meetings, a fifth was scheduled in Amman, but Shimon Peres apologized and said, ‘I’m sorry but the government does not accept that we negotiate and I cannot do anything,’” Abbas said at the Friday gathering, according to the official.
Earlier this month it was reported that a meeting that was supposed to have been held between Peres and Abbas had been cancelled at Peres’ request.
Israel's president's role is defined as ceremonial and apolitical, but Peres, more than any other president in Israel's history, has ignored that. His views on concessions to the PA are different from those of Israel's elected government.
Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath announced that the meeting had been cancelled because Peres claimed that he had received nothing from Netanyahu that he could present to Abbas.
Peres is the coiner of the term "New Middle East", his prediction that economic prosperity, helped and promoted by Israel, would bring peace, which has turned into a non-brainer as the "Arab Spring" brings violence and more virulent anti-Israel hatred to the Middle East.
A spokesman for Peres declined to comment about Saturday’s AFP report.
Earlier on Saturday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki told AFP that the Palestinian Authority statehood bid will be presented to the United Nations on September 20.
“Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will personally present the request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the sixty-sixth session (Sept 20),” Malki said.
In response, Netanyahu’s office described the announcement as “expected and unfortunate.”
“It seems that Abu Mazen [Abbas] has decided to avoid direct negotiations,” a PMO statement said.
Bypassing negotiatons means giving up on the idea of achieving peace with Israel.