February 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on a visit to Tokyo on Tuesday that any decision on returning to the negotiating table with Israel would not be made until clarification of certain points had been made by Washington.

The leader, speaking at a Tokyo seminar, made the comments a day after his foreign minister Riyad al-Milki had said that any talks to take place with Israel should focus on border issues and have a time limit of three or four months.

Backtracking, however, Abbas said that he had sent a series of questions to Washington, to which he was waiting for answers, and that Palestinian leaders had not set specific terms for any indirect negotiation to be done through U.S. mediators.

"The Palestinian side has not set particular conditions," Abbas said.

Washington has been pushing to get the two sides to resume talks, which have been suspended for a year amid tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Abbas and Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reaffirmed their commitment to finding a peaceful two- state solution to the contentious issue of bringing forth an agreement that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace in the Middle East.

Abbas is in Japan as part of a four-day visit to Asia.


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