World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Monday that no progress had been achieved by recent peace efforts exerted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, adding that a number of outstanding issues continued to thwart a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.
Speaking to the Voice of Palestine radio station from Paris, where he was participating in a meeting on Middle East peace with Kerry and Arab foreign ministers, al-Maliki said Kerry still had some "hard work" to do with the Israelis in order to reach a deal that would be acceptable to Palestinians.
Al-Maliki said that during his meeting with Arab foreign ministers in Paris, Kerry had briefed the latter about ideas discussed with both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, and the objections raised by both.
Kerry, al-Maliki said, had outlined the need for Arab support for his peacemaking drive, adding that Israel's so-called "Jewish character" remained a main point in discussions between the US State Secretary and Arab FMs.
According to al-Maliki, the Arab stance on the issue was consistent with the Palestinian position, which rejects Israel's "Jewish" character and insists on having East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Al-Maliki went on to stress that the Palestinian side was committed to the April 29 deadline for wrapping up the negotiations.
Last week, Kerry – in his tenth such trip to the Middle East for peace talks – visited Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in a fresh bid to promote peace talks between the perennial adversaries.
The Washington-sponsored negotiations resumed last July after a three-year hiatus.Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2014, 13:10