Last updated: 25 September, 2012

Abbas says talks with Israel possible if settlements are freezed

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is ready to resume peace talks with Israel if the Jewish state agrees to freeze settlements, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Tuesday.

During a meeting in New York with representatives of the Jewish-American community, Abbas said he is “ready to resume negotiations if settlement construction is stopped during these negotiations,” Erakat told AFP.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since September 2010 following an intractable dispute over settlements, and efforts to bring the two sides closer together have so far led nowhere.

Abbas also reiterated at the meeting that he planned on asking the UN General Assembly to elevate the Palestinians from observer status to that of a UN non-member state, added Erakat who accompanied Abbas to New York.