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US: Palestinian chief negotiator's remarks are unhelpful and disappointing

US officials said they were disappointed with comments made by the Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who threatened to encourage an economic boycott against Israel if the peace talks failed.


US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said: "We are of course concerned about the statements made by the Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat."

US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his disappointment to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the Erekat comments during their meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

"We have said consistently that it is important to create a positive atmosphere and to stop personal attacks. Quite frankly they are unhelpful and disappointing especially when they come from a person involved in the negotiations," Harf reported Kerry as saying.

The Palestinian chief negotiator warned earlier this week that if the peace talks under the United States auspices failed; the Palestinian Authority would demand imposing an economic boycott against Israel.

"The Palestinian Authority has prepared a wave of lawsuits against Israel in the Hague if the negotiations fail. We have already prepared 50 signed petitions and are awaiting the results of the talks," he said.

Erekat noted that the Palestinian Authority will not accept extending the negotiations for one minute after April 29; the deadline set by both sides for the talks.

Erekat predicts the Palestinian Authority will collapse and Netanyahu will be forced to take control of the West Bank if the negotiations fail which he said will be "very ugly".

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