May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior Palestinian official on Thursday denied reports that the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) was holding secret talks to persuade the NATO to monitor the borders of the future Palestinian state.

"There are in-depth contacts with Jordan and all other Arab countries to brief them on the situation in the region, but there are no secret contacts with international forces," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

According to a report published by Saudi newspaper Al-Madina, Jordan, which shares borders with the West Bank, said Amman has accepted that 60 percent of multinational forces to be deployed in the West Bank would be under the NATO supervision.

However, Erekat said when the Palestinian state is created, " there might be international forces similar to those deployed between Egypt and Israel or between Israel and Lebanon," adding deploying such forces would be "a natural thing."

The PNA started indirect talks with Israel, sponsored by Washington, in a bid to reach an agreement on the borders of the statehood the Palestinians seek to establish in Gaza and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Earlier reports said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East envoy who leads the Israeli-Palestinian proximity negotiations, that the PNA wants multinational forces to be available to monitor the implementation of any agreement reached through the talks.


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