Top negotiator supports suspending talks with Israel

Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei Sunday said he supported a Palestinian leadership decision to suspend peace talks with Israel in response to the Israeli offensive into Gaza Strip, a Palestinian newspaper reported.

Top negotiator supports suspending talks with Israel
"I commended the suspension of the negotiations and I think they will stop," Ahmed Qurei, the head of the Palestinian negotiating team, told al-Ayyam daily.

The decision was taken on Saturday night during a meeting for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his aides, including acting Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Qurei said that President Abbas and Fayyad have also approved the suspension of talks.

Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported that Qurei had informed his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, of the Palestinian decision.

"There was a debate about stopping all the contacts and the meetings with the Israelis," according to Qurei.

In Gaza, more than 60 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli ground operation which started on Saturday. The deaths included children, women and many civilians. The incursion followed three days of Israeli air strikes that also killed dozens of people.

"What happens in Gaza is a massacre that doesn't evade civilian women, children and aged men. This is mass killing and intolerable and doesn't give any credibility to any peace process or negotiations," Qurei said.

Qurei also said the Israeli settlement activities in West Bank and east Jerusalem were going on which helped the Palestinian leadership make the decision of suspending talks.

Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Mart 2008, 13:31
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