RAMALLAH,Â West BankÂ – Israeli-PalestinianÂ talks aimed at reviving peace negotiations ended in Jordan on Wednesday without achieving any progress andÂ PalestinianÂ AuthorityPresidentÂ Mahmoud Abbas plans to consult fellow Arabs on his next move,Â PalestinianÂ officials said.
The options being considered by theÂ PalestiniansÂ include pushing ahead withÂ United NationsÂ membership and reconciliation with Hamas – moves opposed by Israel.
“The Israelis brought nothing new in these meetings,” said oneÂ PalestinianÂ official familiar with the talks. “We are now going to assess our options and will consult our brothers in the Arab League on February 4.”
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that there will be no meetings between the parties in Amman next week in order to evaluate the results of the talks, Israel Radio reported. He reportedly confirmed that there are gaps between the sides but said talks were conducted honestly and seriously. Judeh added that negotiation is the best way to achieve aÂ PalestinianÂ state and warned that stagnation has a negative effect.
The talks came as part of a proposal by the Quartet ofÂ Middle EastÂ mediators – the United States, European Union, Russia and theÂ United NationsÂ – which set a three-month deadline last October for the two sides to make proposals on issues of territory and security.
The aim is to reach a peace deal by the end of this year.
The European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, ison a regional visitÂ to nudge Israelis andÂ PalestiniansÂ to maintain the talks begun this month.
She has been seeking Israeli confidence-building measures forÂ Palestinians, including freeing some prisoners and more freedom in areas of theÂ West BankÂ held by Israel.
Israelis andÂ PalestiniansÂ held five sessions of talks, in which the Israelis offered a document comprising 21 points that Abbas had dismissed as worthless.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=255173
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