Roee Nahmias
January 26, 2010 - 1:00am,7340,L-3839805,00.html

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is under firm Egyptian pressure aimed at forcing him to agree to the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel. According to the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, Abbas refused to restart the talks based on an American proposal that he must waive his demand for a complete freeze in the construction of settlements.

According to the report, Abbas is under "a direct threat that he will be completely ignored by the Egyptian leadership." According to the newspaper, a series of reports have claimed that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak threatened the Palestinians that his country would completely give up on the Palestinian issue if Abbas failed to accept Cairo's demand and fully cooperate with the Egyptians.

During his visit to Amman two days ago, where he met with US special envoy George Mitchell, Abbas complained that he cannot accept the Egyptian and American request to resume the negotiations without any preconditions and without Arab and Palestinian support.

The Palestinian president therefore turned to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and asked him to intervene in order to find a way out from the Egyptian pressure. In Amman, Abbas complained to Jordan's King Abdullah II about the great embarrassment he is in following the recent crisis.

Official Jordanian sources expressed Abbas' fear that Egypt would continue threatening him, saying he was confused as he failed to understand the entire reason for the Egyptian pressure.

They also noted that the Palestinian leader had complained about the firm and harsh remarks made by the Egyptians towards their Palestinian colleagues during their discussions.


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