U.S. WILL PRESSURE ON ARABS, PNA
The Palestinians were astonished when President Obama spoke on the phone with Abbas and told him he preferred to go for direct talks.
According to senior sources quoted by al-Ayyam Daily, the Palestinians may accept moving to the direct talks in September when the four-month proximity talks are over.
However, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a Palestine Liberation Organization official, said "we don't know that the proximity talks have stopped. Mitchell is coming next week, and the context and the core of the talks are more important to us than the way they are being held."
Habib believed that if the U.S. fails to persuade Abbas to move to the direct negotiations, "the U.S. will go to the Arab group, instead of the Palestinian (National) Authority," referring to Wednesday's meeting between Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who will meet with Abbas afterwards.
"If the Palestinians move from proximity talks to direct talks, I believe that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be similar to the type of negotiations between the two sides before it stopped in December 2008," said Habib.