Abbas, PA minister to meet Arab FMs
Published Monday 07/04/2014 (updated) 08/04/2014 13:39
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas and his foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki are scheduled to leave to Cairo Tuesday to join foreign ministers of Arab League member states in an emergency meeting requested by Palestine.
They will discuss the repercussions of the impasse in the peace talks after Israel refused to release the last group of Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody before the Oslo Accords.
Abbas is to update Arab foreign ministers on the latest developments, including threats by Israeli officials to take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority after submitting letters of accession for international conventions and treaties.
He will also urge the Arab League to support the Palestinian position politically and financially.
The Israeli government's March 29 failure to release the agreed-upon fourth round of Palestinian veteran prisoners -- jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords -- has brought the US-brokered peace talks close to collapse.
The PLO responded by applying for membership to 15 international treaties.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to retaliate with "unilateral moves" if the PLO proceeds with the applications.
On Monday, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet again in a fresh effort to salvage the teetering, US-brokered peace process, US and Palestinian officials said.
Accompanied by US envoy Martin Indyk, the two sides met on Sunday evening, but Palestinian sources told AFP that the session ended without any breakthrough and an Israeli official was quoted by local media as saying the process was on the edge of collapse.
Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed over 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the negotiations began.
On Sunday, a Fatah official told Ma'an that the PLO would seek membership in 48 international organizations and conventions after April 29 if peace talks with Israel failed.
Nabil Shaath, a member of the Fatah executive committee, said that the PLO could not make any more concessions after "giving up 78 percent of our land to Israel."
Talks will fail unless the US puts more pressure on Israel, he added.
"If the US becomes convinced that the same approach will make no progress, then it will be possible to save the situation. Otherwise negotiations can't go on."
Additionally, Shaath said the PLO will not continue negotiating to reach "a framework agreement."
"Israel wants a framework for negotiations rather than a framework for a solution," Shaath said.