PA maintains preconditions to end settlement construction, release prisoners.

Large protest rally outside PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office in Ramallah to demonstrate Washington’s perceived ‘Israel bias.’

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

 

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry met in Ramallah Thursday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed with him ways of resuming the peace talks with Israel.

Palestinian protester holds a poster with a caricature of John Kerry in Ramallah May 23, 2013.

Palestinian protester holds a poster with a caricature of John Kerry in Ramallah May 23, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday reiterated his demand for a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners before returning to the negotiating table with Israel.

Abbas raised with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry the issues of continued construction in settlements, Israeli assaults on Jerusalem, settler assaults and the continued incarceration of Palestinians in Israel, according to a statement issued by the PA president’s office.

Upon his arrival in Ramallah, Kerry first held talks with Abbas and PLO officials Saeb Erekat, Yasser Abed Rabbo and Nabil Abu Rudaineh.

Later, Kerry held a closed one-hour meeting with Abbas.

Following the meeting, Kerry, in an unprecedented move, toured the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh, where he ate shawarma and Palestinian pastries.

 

View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Abbas-says-Israel-must-act-before-returning-to-table-314186

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