Abbas to complete peace talks with Israel
Updated: 2013-12-31 11:10
RAMALLAH -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday night that the Palestinians are committed to the peace talks with Israel for nine months.
"We are still committed to what has been agreed upon with Secretary of State John Kerry to continue the direct peace talks with Israel for nine months," Abbas said in a statement published by Wafa state-run news agency.
The direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were resumed in late July and will last for nine months, according to Kerry's peace plan.
A well-informed Palestinian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that Abbas statement was made after officials warned that the Palestinians would apply to the United Nations' organizations in response to an Israeli vote aims at annexing the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.
The source said the Americans protested against the Palestinian officials' statements of warnings to go to the UN organizations and also to Israel's threats not to release more Palestinian prisoners.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had earlier told Voice of Palestine Radio that "The talks failed. We don't need for nine months to judge on the negotiations, Israel caused its failure. What does this decision mean?"
Erekat was reacting to an earlier Israeli ministerial committee vote that aims at annexing the Jordan Valley area, which represents 25 percent of the West Bank area.
"It has become obvious to everyone that the current government of Israel is determined to undermine the two-state solution ignoring and neglecting laws, resolutions and international efforts to finalize a peaceful solution," said Erekat.