PA minister sets ‘conditions’ for Abbas-Netanyahu meeting

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) foreign minister Riad al-Malki said on Thursday that the Palestinians are not opposed to a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but have conditions for such a meeting.

Speaking to Kol Yisrael radio, al-Malki said that, among other things, the Palestinians demand a “return to the status quo that existed since 1778”, as he put it, and that Israel stop collective punishment and withdraw all its troops from “occupied areas.”

In recent days, Netanyahu has indicated he was "open" to negotiations with Abbas, but emphasized that Abbas is not open to peace talks with Israel.

"I'm willing to meet him (Abbas), he's not willing to meet me. Get with the program," emphasized the prime minister, rebutting a question about whether he would be willing to meet the PA chairman. "You should direct your questions to him."

Netanyahu qualified, however, that he would put peace talks on the table in the event Abbas would be able to calm the terror wave which has engulfed Israel.

MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) last week said that peace talks may restart again via a diplomatic summit in Jordan.

"I suppose there are officials here who are trying to bring calm, and there may be a meeting in Jordan," he said on Army Radio. "But as long as Palestinians are unable to produce this kind of leader, who knows how to respond to the outstretched hand of the Israeli public, the situation will continue to be miserable and gloomy."

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett has denounced the possibility of a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, saying that the PA chairman " is a terrorist and we should not be talking with him." 


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