Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu present a map for a future Palestinian state before any peace talks can resume, an aide told AFP on Friday.
Abbas "wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to (U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry, what the prime minister's view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders," political adviser Nimr Hammad told AFP.
The remarks came just days ahead of a visit by Kerry, who will hold fortnightly meetings with Israeli and PA leaders as he tries to revive the stalled peace process.
"Any return to negotiations requires Netanyahu to agree on 1967 borders," Hammad said, repeating one of Abbas’s usual preconditions for talks with Israel.
Abbas has insisted that participation in new talks be conditioned on using the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War as the basis for negotiating future borders.
Abbas also repeated to Barack Obama, on his first visit to the region as U.S. president in March, that a halt to Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem was a precondition for any peace negotiations.
Expectations are growing that the U.S. administration is ready to resume some kind of shuttle diplomacy to rekindle the peace process, which has stalled since 2010.
Kerry accompanied U.S. President Barack Obama on his first official visit to the region several weeks ago and, after Obama left the region, Kerry stayed behind and met PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. He then travelled to Jerusalem for talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
After Kerry’s last visit, PA officials said that he had begun to push for a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the PA.
Unconfirmed reports following that visit indicated that Kerry is planning on offering Israel and the PA an outline which would see Israel releasing terrorists from its prisons and transferring areas from Area B, which is under joint PA-Israeli control under the Oslo Accords, to Area A which is under full PA control.
Kerry’s outline would have the PA undertaking a return to the negotiating table and promising not to file lawsuits against Israel with the International Criminal Court.
Abbas has continuously imposed preconditions on peace talks and has demanded that Israel freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. When Israel froze construction for a ten-month period in 2010, however, he refused to come to the table.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)