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Steps taken to narrow gap between Israel and Palestinians

English.news.cn   2013-12-20 04:40:40            

RAMALLAH, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- United States modifies its earlier plan of security arrangements, a well-informed Palestinian source said on Thursday.

The source, which spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that Martin Indyk, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, met with Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday and presented new modifications to an earlier plan of security arrangements presented by U.S, Secretary of State John Kerry to Palestine and Israel.

"President Abbas explained to Indyk in their meeting that the Palestinians oppose any ideas that include an Israeli security existence in the area of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank once an independent Palestinian state is established," said the source.

No further information about the modification was disclosed.

Indyk renewed Washington's invitation to Abbas to hold a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bridge the gaps in the stances of the two sides, said the source, adding "President Abbas refused to meet with Netanyahu until the ground is prepared for such meetings."

Earlier on Thursday, a senior Palestinian official said that Abbas sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama that apparently included reservations on a security plan for the West Bank raised by Washington.

Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesperson for the Palestinian presidency, told Xinhua that the letter to Obama doesn't bypass John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State who formalized the plan and presented it to Israel and Palestinians earlier this month.

Abu Rdineh declined from revealing the points in the letter in relevance to Kerry's plan, but said it emphasized that negotiations with Israel must lead to an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty on pre-1967 border lines, a reference to the territories Israel has occupied that year.

Abu Rdineh said the Palestinian leadership was still studying Kerry's security ideas, though several Palestinian officials said they reject the plan because it adopts the Israeli point of view for settling controversial security issues.

The direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are scheduled to last until April 2014. On Dec. 5, Kerry proposed to establish joint Israeli-Palestinian controlled crossings in the area of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and Israel keeps full control of the borders with Jordan.

The Palestinians rejected the proposals and said that such security arrangements would undermine the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state with permanent borders, keeping its borders temporary and transitional.

Editor: Mengjie
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