Abbas rejects link between peace process, US aid to Israel

DUBAI- Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said he refuses to link the troubled Middle East peace process with a US offer of additional military aid to its Israeli ally, in a newspaper interview published on Friday.
"We refuse to allow the offer of planes be linked in any way to a freeze on settlements," he told the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Abbas rejects link between peace process, US aid to Israel
"We have nothing to do with all that. This is our position and it will not change," said Abbas, who insists on a renewed Israeli moratorium on settlement building before he returns to direct US-brokered peace talks with Israel.
"The United States is an ally of Israel and we cannot prevent that," said the Palestinian president.
"But let their aid be carried out far removed from the Palestinian peace negotiations and not be used as a pretext for giving more weaponry to Israel," he said.
Israel has agreed to consider a renewed moratorium in exchange for a package of US incentives, reportedly including the delivery of an additional 20 warplanes to the Jewish state.
Washington's aim is to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Direct peace negotiations resumed on September 2 but collapsed three weeks later with the expiry of a 10-month Israeli ban on West Bank settlement building.

Saturday, November 20th 2010

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