The Jerusalem Post
December 15, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday told members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s Central Council that he would not be willing to resume peace talks with Israel until the latter stops settlement construction in the West Bank and recognizes the borders of a future Palestinian state, the Chinese News Agency reported.

"If settlement activity were to stop completely for a specific period and borders of a [Palestinian] state were declared within the 1967 borders, we would go to negotiations," Abbas said ahead of the meeting in Ramallah.

During his speech, the PA president called on the world to work toward negotiations that would eventually see a Palestinian state established in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

In the interim, he pledged, the conflict would not deteriorate back into the cycle of violence which characterized it in the days of the First and Second Intifada.

Abbas was also quoted by the agency as saying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to temporarily halt construction in West Bank settlements for ten months "is not considered a stop of the settlement activities."

Several weeks ago, Netanyahu announced that the Security Cabinet had approved a ten-month ten month moratorium on building activities in Judea and Samaria. The announcement was met with widespread criticism by right-wing elements, from settler leaders to MKs who had not participated in the decision-making process.


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