Arab League head: Abbas ready for real negotiations

Sides can reach agreement in a week, says Nabil el-Araby, if borders, Jerusalem, and security are settled

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby on March 25, 2014 (AFP/Yasser al-Zayyat)
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby on March 25, 2014 (AFP/Yasser al-Zayyat)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready for “real negotiations” with Israel on Palestinian statehood, the head of the Arab League said in an interview with London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat.

“He is open to the importance of the renewal of real negotiations,” said Nabil el-Araby, according to Ynet, “and if not, then there will be another way to manage the conflict. Real negotiations demand agreement on the principles established in international resolutions, such as the ’67 borders, East Jerusalem, and security for the two sides. When there is agreement on these three issues, it will be possible to reach an agreement in a week, not in a number of months.”

El-Araby also said that the Arab League supports Abbas in whatever he asks for during a speech he is scheduled to give Sunday before member states’ foreign ministers.

On Saturday, Abbas took an assertive tone against Hamas, saying he would no longer allow the organization to make policy decisions like signing agreements or initiating conflicts.

Speaking from Cairo, Abbas also mocked Hamas for launching thousands of rockets, which did relatively little damage in Israel, in the recent conflict, Ynet reported.

Abbas is also expected to declare Sunday that he is suspending talks with Hamas until his demands are met. Abbas has insisted that Hamas cede control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian unity government that his Fatah faction established with Hamas last spring.

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