Ma'an News Agency
September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

The second round of negotiations in Egypt will focus on land, borders and security, said member of the Palestinian negotiations team Nabil Sha'ath on Tuesday, as officials and leaders arrive in the coastal resort town ahead of talks.

Sha'ath said reports that the talks in Sharm Ash-Sheikh will focus on Israel security matters solely were false, adding in a statement that "there is no security without the land and the borders and they know this very well."

"It has become clear today that no party could impose its agenda in relation to land. This is one of four obstacles that face the negotiations."

Talks, he said, will continue until Israel's settlement moratorium expires in late September "and after this we will act according to the Israeli position." The PLO and Palestinian Authority have maintained that they will walk out of talks if the freeze is not extended.

The Fatah Central Committee member also said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will "push Israel to holding serious negotiations ... and exert efforts to bridge the gaps between the parties before the start of direct meetings."

Mubarak will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton individually before all convene for a general meeting.

Abbas arrived in the Red Sea resort town on Monday, while Clinton and Netanyahu arrived on Tuesday.

The latest round of talks, initiated in Washington on 2 September, were resumed after four months of US-mediated "proximity talks," which were initially derailed in March over Israel's announcement that further expansion had been approved in an Israeli-only settlement in East Jerusalem.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Monday that the latest round of talks were pointless and do not serve the interests or rights of Palestinians.

The leftist movement said in a statement that the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership and PLO negotiations team ought to stop "chasing after illusions" and should cancel talks with Netanyahu in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm Al-Sheikh.

Negotiating with Israel only encourages it to build more settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and will lead to "the occupation committing extra crimes against the Palestinians," the statement concluded.

Several PLO factions denounced the resumption of direct talks, citing settlement expansion as a stumbling block in a potential peace deal with Israel.


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