Abbas: No immediate extension of peace talks
Published Tuesday 21/01/2014 (updated) 22/01/2014 18:40
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to ongoing peace negotiations with Israel, stressing that he was focused on making progress within the nine month time frame originally agreed upon.
Abbas said in a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Traian Basescu, at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah that the Palestinians are determined to continue peace efforts in order to establish a Palestinian state.
He added that extending negotiations with Israel past the agreed-upon nine month period was not something being discussed at the moment.
Abbas said that he briefed Basescu on the latest news on the peace process, and they discussed their hopes for an improvement of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Abbas praised the United States for its support in pushing the peace process forward as well as the European Union for their statements condemning Israeli settlement construction activity.
Basescu, for his part, said that the two leaders aim to improve the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Basescu stressed that his country supports Kerry's peace initiative and called upon the two parties to reach a middle ground where they can live side by side in peace and security.
Direct negotiations began in July between Israel and the Palestinians in a US-led attempt to restart the deadlocked peace process.
Israel has announced plans to build thousands of homes in illegal settlements across the West Bank over the course of the talks, inhibiting US efforts.