Palestinians give borders, security proposal at Amman meet

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda said Palestinian envoys gave Israeli counterparts proposals on borders and security at the Amman meeting called by the international Quartet on Tuesday.
AMMAN (Ma’an) — Palestinian envoys handed Israeli officials a proposal for resolving border and security issues at a meeting in the Jordanian capital on Tuesday attended by international Quartet delegates.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda said Israeli representatives promised to respond to the proposals in future meetings, which were agreed to be held in Amman at an unspecified date, official PA news agency Wafa reported.

Juda emphasized that there were no specific breakthroughs at the meeting, which was called by the international Quartet and attended by PLO official Saeb Erekat and Israeli delegate Yitzhak Molcho.

“The gap is wide between the two sides on all issues … The issues are complicated and we do not expect to resolve them in a day or two,” he told reporters in Amman.

Negotiations stalled in late 2010 after Israel refused to renew a partial freeze on Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, which officials say threaten a viable Palestinian state.

On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that Palestinians were ready to resume direct talks if the Israeli government agrees on freezing settlement expansion.

Juda did not confirm Israel’s position on a settlement freeze, but noted “an agreement on borders and security will put an end to settlements,” according to Wafa.

Both sides had downplayed the meeting, with senior PLO Wasl Abu Yossef insisting: “This is not a resumption of negotiations.”

The Palestinians were simply fulfilling a request by the Quartet to present their positions on the issues of security and borders, he said prior to the summit.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri had called on the Palestinian Authority to boycott Tuesday’s meeting, saying it was “repeating a policy of failure.”

“The only beneficiary (of the summit) will be the Israeli occupation,” he said, in remarks echoed by leftist faction PFLP.

( / 03.01.2012)

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