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Middle East

PLO negotiator talks of secret negotiations with Israel

media Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

The PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has revealed that he held secret negotiations with his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Molche, designed to restart stalled peace negotiations.

Erekat denied claims made by Israeli sources that as many as six or seven secret talks took place, stating in a press release that any discussions were to provide a basis for future talks.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Erekat and Molche met several times in order to permit an exchange of letters between Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu, stating the basis for any future discussion.

Erekat underlined that future negotiations will be dependent on a settlement freeze, despite President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent statement that he will consider an offer of prisoner releases and the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders as a precursor to negotiations.

The Israeli government recently approved 851 new homes in the West Bank, considered by the UN and many governments to be illegal.

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