August 16, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Monday accused Israel of setting preconditions which would obstruct efforts to start direct peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said Israel "deliberately impose preconditions on the peace negotiations" by announcing its rejection to a statement by the Quartet.

The Quartet comprising the United States, European Union, Russia and the United States, plans to issue a statement establishing the principles of peacemaking process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel rejected the statement, saying the United States, which is now sponsoring indirect proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians, should define the basis of the negotiations, not the Quartet.

The proximity discussions that launched in May was aimed at brokering a deal on border and security issues to bridge the gaps that prevent the resumption of the direct negotiations.

The Palestinians want Israel to stop settlement constructions in East Jerusalem as a condition to start face-to-face talks.


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