March 6, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian leadership has no intentions to revive peace talks with Israel ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East trip this month, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.

"The Palestinian-U.S. contacts to prepare for Obama's visit were limited to explaining the Palestinian position and the requirements of resuming peace process," said Mohammed Ishteya, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team.

Obama will visit Israel and the West Bank on March 20-21. His trip comes more than two years after Israel and the Palestinians stopped their peace negotiations over a dispute on the continuation of Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank.

To return to the negotiating table, Israel must stop the settlements activities and release Palestinian prisoners, Ishteya said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia. An Israeli newspaper reported that Abbas presented Kerry a plan to revive the stalled negotiations.


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