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Palestinians Predict Long Talks with US before Launching Peace Negotiations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt in the West Bank in March 2017. (AFP)

Ramallah – Secretary of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Saeb Erakat revealed that Palestinian and US officials agreed to resume talks “soon.”

He said in a written statement that the discussions between the two sides will take a long time before the political process can be launched in the region.

The resumption of the talks will allow for more consultations “to achieve a purposeful peace process.”

The PLO officials described as “deep and frank” the talks Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held with US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt last week.

Erakat confirmed however that there are “large” discrepancies between the stances of either side over the resumption of the peace process.

Asharq Al-Awsat had reported that the Palestinian-US talks were tense because the American officials had ignored the two-state solution and instead focused on the salaries dispute and the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Despite this disappointment, the Palestinians will positively approach the upcoming “five-five” talks with US officials. Five Palestinian officials and five American ones are set to meet in Washington in July to discuss the most important issues that could pave the way for the launch of the peace negotiations.

Palestinian official Wassef Abou Youssef said: “We do not want to return to open US-sponsored bilateral negotiations. We want to reach a new approach on the matter.”

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We had previously tried open US-sponsored negotiations and they failed.”

“The US officials are not honest mediators, but they are completely biased to Israel and its interests. They cater to it above all else,” he lamented.

He added however that it was too soon to judge whether the US will succeed in launching the negotiations.

“They have so far not formed any mechanism,” said Abou Youssef.