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US seeks non-binding 'framework for negotiations'

April 12, 2014 at 11:35 am

After meetings with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Monday, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli leaders were told to take political risks to reach, at least, a non-binding “framework for negotiations”.

In the meetings, Abbas said that time is running out and demanded that Israel should go ahead in releasing the last batch of Palestinian prisoners to prove it is serious about advancing peace talks.

Obama, who knows that his country-led peace talk are faltering, said that he is sticking to reaching a deal before the deadline. He called for both sides to take political risks to reach this deal.

“It’s very hard. We are going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we are able to move it forward,” Obama said. “I hope we can continue to see progress in the coming days and weeks.”

Israel demands the PA explicitly recognise Israel as a national state for Jews, but Abbas insists that it was enough that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation recognised Israel’s “legitimacy” in 1988 and “the state of Israel” in 1993.

Obama said: “Everybody understands what the outlines of a peace deal would look like, involving a territorial compromise on both sides based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon [land] swaps that would ensure that Israel was secure but would also ensure Palestinians have a sovereign state.”

He continued: “I believe that now is the time for not just the leaders of both sides but also the people of both sides to embrace this opportunity.”