April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the United States hold daily contact on discussions over resuming the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a top Palestinian negotiator said on Sunday.

Saeb Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio that the communication focused on freezing Israel's recent approved projects of building Jewish settlement in disputed East Jerusalem and stopping raids on PNA-controlled areas in the West Bank.

Erekat said putting an end to the raids and the new construction plans will "provide a suitable environment for peace" the Middle East Quartet called for during their latest meeting in Moscow last month.

The Israeli approval in March of constructing 1,600 housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem foiled a U.S. attempt to launch proximity negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians after over 15 months of a standstill of direct peace talks between the two sides.

Erekat stressed that the PNA will not resume the negotiations until Israel completely freezes settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Erekat denied reports that U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell was going to visit the region on Sunday.


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