How in the world is “peace to break out” when Abbas and the Arabs are no more willing to accept now, the same far reaching deal that Arafat refused way back then, in the early 90’s and in 2000? Turn the page. The only way this can end is Abbas walking away from it all and blaming the Jews like Arafat. KGS
J’lem Post: Arab League foreign ministers on Thursday authorized the Palestinian Authority to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, but left it up to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to decide on the timing.
Jerusalem immediately welcomed the decision, taken at a special meeting in Cairo, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issuing a statement saying he was “prepared to begin direct and honest discussions with the Palestinian Authority in the coming days.”
The US, which has been urging Abbas to switch from the current “proximity” talks to direct talks, also praised the move, and said it would seek to convene the direct talks “as soon as possible.”
Netanyahu added that it would be possible through direct negotiations to soon reach an accord “between the two peoples.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, currently in Washington, also praised the move, saying that only direct negotiations would lead to two states for two peoples. He added that the negotiations would require “difficult and courageous” decisions from both sides, and that he hoped the Palestinians “also realize that.”
Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said the Arab foreign ministers decided to send a letter to US President Barack Obama explaining the Arab position vis-a-vis the entire peace process in the Middle East.
Abbas told the foreign ministers that Obama had been exerting heavy pressure on him to enter direct negotiations, a PA official in Ramallah said. Abbas told the ministers he saw no reason why he should succumb to the American pressure in light of the fact that no progress has been achieved during the current US-brokered proximity talks.
The US pressure, according to Israeli officials, was leveled not only at the PA, but also at the Arab League to ensure that it not “handcuff” Abbas.