Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expects that the American government will set terms for renewed talks between the Israelis and Palestinians if Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot agree on the modalities themselves, Israel Radio reported Friday.
Speaking in Tokyo, Abbas told reporters that he will reply in the next few days to a proposal Netanyahu sent him this week.
In his reply, Abbas is expected to tell the prime minister that Israel is preventing the Palestinian Authority from governing effectively and is not granting it any authority.
Maan News reported that Abbas also called for NATO troops to replace Israeli troops in the Palestinian territories.
Abbas said he will give Netanyahu two weeks to come back to him with viable terms for renewed talks.
Netanyahu, who is set to meet in the next few days with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, offered on Wednesday to start direct talks with Abbas, without preconditions. Abbas’s spokesman responded on Thursday that Abbas is ready for talks only if Israel halts settlement construction and accepts its 1967 boundaries as the basis for negotiations.
According to Israel Radio, Abbas anticipates that President Barack Obama will set out a framework for new talks if no agreement on a resumption can be reached between Abbas and Netanyahu.
If there is no substantive diplomatic progress soon, Abbas is also reportedly preparing to seek approval from the United Nations General Assembly for “Palestine” to be granted “non-member state” status.
Last September, Abbas set in motion a bid to achieve full member status of the UN via the Security Council. The US vowed to veto any such move, but Abbas lacked the necessary votes in the Security Council. In the General Assembly, by contrast, pro-Palestinian resolutions are assured of an automatic majority.